I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, and she told me that she doesn't let people see her cry; even the man she loves. She works hard to avoid being seen in, what she feels, is a too vulnerable position. Even when confronted with a really sad situation she avoided the connection. So, this got me thinking…
How many times have we heard, “I don’t like people to see me cry?”
Why is that? Why do we work so hard to avoid people actually seeing us? Do we feel weak because we are crying? Do we feel that we should be able to handle whatever is going on without emotion?
Isn’t it often true that we feel better after crying? That crying is sometimes a release of pent-up emotion that we have been bottling up for a long time? Why do we want to carry this pent-up emotion anyway?
I think that tears can be seen as a gift ~ for both ~ the person crying and the person who is with the person crying. First, a gift for the person crying ~ tears allows us to know that we are human and allow us to feel deeply. They remind us that life is worth experiencing on a deeper level.
Secondly what a gift we are giving the person with us to “see” us. To be with us in our sadness, anger or whatever feeling that brings about the tears. We allow someone in, and that my friends, is a giant gift. To know that we are safe enough that someone allows us into themselves.
How about we work to rethink tears as weakness and see them for the gift they are?