Sunday, September 27, 2009
Like many people, especially other guys (boys), I was taught that to cry was being a baby, not being grown up, and was something that you just didn't want to do. I remember the times when I was being punished and if I didn't cry, than I would be hit harder butt if I did cry than I would be hit for crying to much. You figure out the mixed messages in that one.
Unfortunately, all my life, I have been one of those very sensitive type of people. I would cry at the drop of a hat (whatever that means). I cried when I saw animals being abused or killed and there was no shortage of those events growing up for me. If I watched something sad on TV, I would cry and if I was at a wedding, I would be balling my eyes off. Being separated from my mom or saying good bye to someone I had been visiting, the tears would be flowing. I remember meeting Jeff and then having to get on an airplane to fly back home, crying most of the way and trying not to let anyone else around me see.
When I was a kid, crying was just not allowed but no matter how hard I tried, I did cry. I can't recall seeing my Dad cry and if he did, I just missed it. My mom on the other hand would cry some but not a lot and most of the time she tried to hide it. In my family, showing emotions such as crying or other things was just not the thing to do.
At nights, when I was so upset and just didn't feel like I could take it anymore, I would go and bury my face in my pillow and cry as loud as I wanted. I had to do this without being heard of course. If I was outside on my own somewhere, I didn't worry about crying because no one could hear me.
The thing is, I know I'm not alone. Boys should not cry is one of the most common messages that are taught in our society for some unknown reason. It is sad because tears do not show weakness or immaturity. Tears are not a bad thing. Crying can be a very big release for our bodies and a cleansing to our mind and our soul. It can bring about change within us that is needed and in many ways can help move us past whatever it is we are facing.
I think so much of it comes down to the fact that many people are not comfortable with someone crying. They feel inadequate to help the person and the tears being shed only seem to reinforce that. Yet, if someone is crying and you're not sure how to help them in that moment, just hold the space open for them. Be there for them with absolutely no agenda or anything that you feel you must do. Often, a person that is in a moment of crying just needs to be supported, held and reassured that they are not alone. Sometimes all they need is just to know someone is there. You do not have to make this an issue about your own fears and insecurities because at that moment, they do not matter.
So the next time you feel like crying, I say let it out! Be with those moments and feel the moments within yourself. Do not judge yourself and see yourself as being weak or immature or not able to handle your problems. Actually in all reality, those that cry are more in touch with many of their feelings, in my view. That may not be scientifically proven but I've seen plenty of evidence of it.
Feelings and emotions are a good thing. They are our barometers in life giving us release, cleansing and helping us move through things that otherwise would stay locked up within ourselves. The more we connect with our feelings and emotions, the more healthy our mind, body and spirit will become!