I cry. I cry frequently. I do not cry like they do in the movies. There is no single beautiful tear that rolls down my cheek. It is messy. I sob with my eyes red and snot everywhere. It can make me feel moved, hurt, relieved, or exhausted. One thing that I refuse to feel when I cry is shame.
We are taught to be ashamed when we cry. We are taught that this behaviour should be hidden away in our bedrooms. We are taught that crying shows weakness and makes everyone around us feel uncomfortable. We are taught that tears should be followed by an apology for showing emotion. How often do we expect people to say “I’m sorry” for choking up in public? Almost every day I am lucky enough to have people share their inner most thoughts with me. I am lucky enough to have people tear away their façade and show me their tears. Yet they still feel the need to apologize.
Crying is good for the soul. When we become overwhelmed with emotion, good or bad, our bodies’ natural response is to let go with tears. Yet we are made to feel as though we can only let it out when we are alone. We hold it in until we reach the other side of the door and can shut ourselves off from the rest of the World. It is engrained in us that we have to fight off our tears until we can be alone, and if we are unable to do so, we must apologize for it.
Why do we become shocked when someone cries and does not apologize for their tears? Why do we feel uncomfortable when we are privy to someone else’s emotional state? Why do we feel uncomfortable when we allow others to be privy to our own emotional state?
I for one will not apologize for my tears. I will not be concerned with the discomfort it causes others to see these tears. I will not shy away from the fact that my tears show the world that I am an emotional being, because we are all emotional beings. Tears are powerful. There is power within the vulnerability they show. I do not believe that tears prove weakness. They prove an ability to be comfortable with my emotions. I hope that we can all learn to cry unapologetically and appreciate others who do as well.