I’ve always been a person with watery eyes and when I eat very spicy food or a bowl of hot soup, when I’m cutting an onion or bicycling in the cold wind you will 70% of the time catch me with tears. Since this is just a physical reaction that people usually understand, I had no shame in just explaining it this way.
But then, when it would happen from stress during an exam, audition or job interview. Pfew, not the right moment to show this type of vulnerability, right? So I would try to swallow it and continue. With shaky legs, I would leave the room afterwards and release my tears preferably in the bathroom where no one could see me.
During a break-up, I would cry which is considered normal. Also with movies where someone good dies or falls madly in love, even during touching Britain’s Got Talent videos I find on facebook where people find out their dreams might come out. All good, I can do that. As long as it’s in a more private atmosphere right and not on an aeroplane for example, because then it would get awkward again right?
A while ago I cried after a super intense orgasm. What a release, it felt so good! (BTW: I’m not the only one crying during sex, I hear it pretty often actually… but there is enough to say about that for another post.) And I cried in the middle of the main square in Ghent on a sunny Saturday when I received a text message from a friend that he was looking for a soul connection in his life. I found that so deep and beautiful, I instantly started crying there in public. I was also on my period, which makes me cry like 3x as fast. I cried on the train today as well when I came home from a hospital visit to my grandmother who’s not doing well.
I cried when I got rejected a while ago, I get tears when the hairdresser pulls my hair, I cried from happiness when I accomplished a big business goal last month, and sometimes during giving therapy, I feel a tear running down my cheek when a cliënt cries.
As you see, I cry. A lot.
I used to feel so ashamed for it and do it super sneaky by myself. I used to HATE that I’m a teary person and got even more anxious about stressful situations or in front of bullies because I had a huge fear the tears would come up and it would make me look weak.
Crying is believed to be an outlet or a result of a burst of intense emotional sensations, such as fear, anger, surprise or joy. This theory could explain why people cry during cheerful events, as well as very painful events. I live by my emotions and they are intense! (I’m a Scorpio ;) ) My emotions are usually a great indication for growth, so crying is a side effect of not running away from it. It’s part of living without masks!
It’s a couple of years ago now, that I looked into my own eyes in the mirror when I cried from sadness. I’m not a sobbing type of cryer, I usually just have the salt water running over my cheeks. So I just sat calmly with myself and continued to observe.
What I noticed was, how BEAUTIFUL I was. I owned those tears by not hiding them. They were allowed and it made me feel really strong.
Since that moment I often go back to the mirror when the tears come up, I sometimes wish I could capture that face on a picture to show you, but the moment I take my camera my face changes again.
I stopped shaming the crying and I now even welcome it. And it doesn’t matter where I am or with whom. It’s just an expression of different kind of emotions, and it should be allowed and welcomed as much as a sincere smile. As long as it’s real, right? No one likes the crocodile tears or fake smiles.
When I cry in front of people, I don’t necessarily need anything from the other. I usually don’t want to be comforted and I don’t need attention. (Sometimes I do, but usually not from strangers anyway.) I just want to let it out so the emotion can be released. So next time you see someone crying in public or someone close. Don’t do anything and don’t look away immediately. Just observe. Don’t be unrespectful by staring, but be there in an energetic presence with this person. Feel in yourself. Maybe go sit a little closer or nod with acknowledgement and without judgement. Observe, how beautiful this pureness of expression can be. Observing is not necessarily only with the eyes. You received more senses.
I also want to invite you to look in the mirror when you cry (in different emotions) and observe it with the same attitude. What do you learn? What do you see? Where in your body do you feel these tears are welling from?
Maybe together we get the perception out of the world that crying is weak and that boys don’t cry.
When was the last time you cried?