Some people cry at the drop of the hat. Some people never cry. Some people cannot tolerate another person’s tears. I have known my husband since we were 12 years old. We are 40 now and I have never seen him crying. I have seen angst and turmoil and sorrow. I have seen him channel his sadness to anger or brooding. I have watched him stuff headphones in his ears and mow the lawn. I have seen him stare off into the sky and drink a beer. I have never seen tears roll down his face.Â
I cry.Â Â I cry at Publix commercials. I cry when a president is inaugurated. I cried standing and reading the words of Abraham Lincoln at his memorial.Â I cry easily. I cry when I am overwhelmed with emotions. The emotions can be sadness, happiness, awe, fear, anger. Pick a fight with me and I am likely to fight back but cry all the way through it. Give me a sappy Hallmark card about being a new mother and I CRY. I can see a picture of one of my sons at 2 years of age and bust out crying. The emotional wave just causes it. I cry big, fat tears that roll down my face. It is not pretty.
It sounds weird, but I like crying. I don’t mean to say I enjoy it, but I value and appreciate it. It serves me well. I can feel simply overwhelmed and full of trepidation. Sometimes I feel like I my nose is just above the water line; one good wave and I am TOAST. Crying somehow, for some reason, helps. I suppose that I could utilize this energy some other way; I could redirect it.Â I could pound on a punching bag. I have, at other times in my life, redirected myself into running or studying or cleaning. Ha! Crying is a lazy way out! I cry for 20 minutes and somehow I exhaust all that anxiety and the fear dissipates.
Crying requires submission. Maybe that is why so many resist the feeling of tearfulness; they do not want to surrender to their emotions. I have to surrender to the fact that I cannot STOP the tears. They come even if I resist. Crying comes from God.
There is not one single human emotion that is WRONG or sinful or immoral. Sure, how we may act upon our feelings may be wrong or sinful or immoral. But…the feeling is not wrong. By the time I was 25, I had spent nearly 20 years LEARNING. Learning to read, to add, to subtract, to THINK. I was learning to synthesize data and incorporate my own opinions and ideas. I was beginning to form my intellectuality. No one even whispered about my emotional IQ. By the time I was 30, I realized I was so emotionally underdeveloped, I was handicapped. Emotionally delayed. Maybe that was the byproduct of being a student for so many years and not being out in the real world. Either way, I felt like a 3 year old and my emotions were all over the place. I wanted to GROW UP.
I learned that none of my emotions needed to be suppressed. My emotions needed to be understood. I accept now that I am allowed to be afraid. I am allowed to be thunderstruck with wonder. I am allowed to be speechless with reproach. I am allowed to be so profoundly in love with my children that all I can do is pull them onto my lap and hug them until they can’t stand me. How I feel is not WRONG. I can’t throw shit or scream or cut my wrists, but I can express my self with words.
But so much can be expressed by simply halting in my tracks and surrendering to the overwhelming emotions I feel at that moment. I shouldn’t negate myself. Tears are beautiful.
I cried today. I felt like I could not do all that was being asked of me. I felt like I was not strong enough. I felt uncertain that the decisions I had made were not the right ones for everyone affected. I felt like I was tired and wanted to NOT be the person “in charge”. I felt small.
That is when I felt insired to write about crying. I think crying is a spectacular expression of our humaness. I remember seeing the movie, The Passion of the Christ, and thinking mostly about Mary. Jesus’s mother had the worst possible postition. Her sorrow must have been colossal. It was coupled with knowing she was the mother of the Son of God. What a head trip. She carried him within her. She gave birth to him. She nursed him. She watched him play and fall and learn and laugh and grow. And then she watched him become loved and revered. And then she watched him being betrayed. Finally she stood vigil and WATCHED him breathe his last breath. Her grief overwhlems me. Her love overwhelms me. Her faithfulness is astounding. And she cried. I KNOW she cried. She must have been crippled with grief.Â But yet, she survived. I can survive, too.
I now I am crying……..