“Stop crying, mama.” James said, calmly.
“She can cry if she wants to, James.” replied Hope.
Many of us were raised with these sayings: ‘man up,’ ‘lock & load,’ ‘don’t let them see you sweat,’ ‘big girls don’t cry,’ ‘suck it up, buttercup,’ ‘Crying is for p*****s,” & more.
I think they had it all wrong when they told us not to cry. I think this no cry bullshit is absolute crap.
Why shouldn’t we cry?
Why are we not allowed to have real feelings?
Why do we deny our true feelings?
Life is beautiful, ‘just so,’ & messy. There are ups & downs, twists and turns, smooth sailing and bumps in the road. To deny ourselves our true feelings, to put on a mask, to hide our tears behind our sunglasses, & to pretend all is well is profoundly dangerous & detrimental. Hiding makes us sick, numbing makes us crazy, pushing down what is rising within us makes us ill, & not being true to how we feel is what causes nervous breakdowns, depression, eating disorders, suicide, & anxiety.
Teaching our kids to express themselves, fully & safely, is the best thing we can teach our children. Teaching them to be true to who they are by being honest about their feelings, to be their authentic selves, & to speak up about how they are truly feeling, inside, is to raise a child that is unafraid to be who they truly are.
I cry. I cry a lot. I cry when I see a baby. I cry when I hear certain songs. I cry when I look too closely at my children. I cry when I’m tired, overwhelmed, & when I’ve given my all & it is not enough. I cry when I’m proud, when I am moved, & when there are baby commercials. I cried when Hope asked about the homeless man holding a sign. I cried when James ran with absolute joy to see me, only to get knocked down by another child and not checked on, afterwards. I cry when I see small children, struggling, due to a handicap. I cry for the lonely, the broken-hearted, the elderly, & the mentally ill.
I’ll be damned if I hide a single tear. I am a feeling being with a broad range of emotions. I feel with my whole heart & my whole soul. I teach my kids to do the same.
By golly, if my James cries I will embrace him, hold him, sit with him, meet him where he is, & be present. I’ll offer a shoulder, a hug, a smile, and an empathetic ear.
Vulnerability is not weakness.
It is the strongest measurement of courage & the birthplace for change, creativity, & innovation.
To be vulnerable is to be courageous, transparent, authentic, & real. When we are vulnerable, we open the door & give others permission to open the floodgates to their vulnerabilities, too.
Crying shows strength. Criers are warriors. Criers are strong people. It takes guts & bravery to be honest.
This morning, James started crying. Hope called him a ‘crybaby,’ I stopped dead in my tracks, turned around, & got right at her eye level & said: “There is no such thing as a crybaby. Crying is a sign of courage and strength. Crying is to be true to who you are. To cry is to be strong.”
Hope looked at me and nodded her head.
I will cry in front of my children to show them that I am a human being that feels deeply and has real emotions. I will be real. I will be vulnerable. My open vulnerability with my children, shows them being vulnerable is brave & courageous. By them being vulnerable & open beings, they are opening the doors wide open for their friends to be vulnerable, too. That is profoundly healthy.
Vulnerability brings us together.
Vulnerability creates bridges.
Bridges create connection.
Connection creates close-knit relationships.
Close-knit relationships create love.
Love makes the whole wide world go round.
We will teach my son his tears are welcome & healthy, that his tears DO NOT make him weak or less of a man. Crying makes him a vulnerable, full feeling, strong, authentic, and real person.
We will teach my daughter her tears are welcome & healthy, that her tears DO NOT make her weak or less of a woman. Crying makes her a vulnerable, full feeling, strong, authentic, and real person.
May you always feel completely safe by being true to who you are.
Allow yourself the freedom to cry.
Give yourself full permission to feel, whole-heartedly & authentically.
Numbing makes us ill & unhealthy.
Hiding make us sick & unhealthy.
Vulnerability begets vulnerability.
Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.
Vulnerability is the birthplace for innovation, creativity, & change.
Vulnerability brings us together.