I’m always a little confused about the terminal views associated with people crying. It took me a minute to identify the source of my conflicting emotions, probably because I can get wrapped up in the “drama” just as easily as the next guy. Maybe it just comes down to the difference between sympathy, a dangerous sentiment, and empathy, a sentiment in short supply.
The first outward expression of emotion we display in life is crying. In fact, this is the sign of life for new born children. But it’s probably the last time in our life that everyone will stand around elated because we’re crying. Slowly but surely this behavior becomes taboo. There’s “something wrong” with you if you cry. Almost as if crying is like bleeding. As if tears are our spiritual blood pouring out from an emotional wound. Crying is not something that needs to be stemmed.
Crying may well be the most abused emotion in our character. Folks will cry to enhance the emotion of a situation, or to manipulate others. Some folks will even cry on cue to elicit a conditioned response from a co dependent friend, if there’s such thing. Maybe at birth is the last time we cry without motive? There are tragic moments throughout life that we genuinely cry through, but they are few and far between. It could be a death and the loss is genuine, or a birth and the joy is genuine, either way these events are few and far between.
I have learned to identify that tears are an outward expression of an inward struggle that let me know someone is hurting. Like laughter lets me know that someone is happy and wants to share their joy. We can share tears and laughter and sometimes we laugh so hard we cry. So it’s ok if I cry or someone I’m talking with cries, I don’t have to mimic the emotion unless that’s what I feel. It doesn’t make me callous, it makes me honest. Life is lived in the intervals, content, and crying or laughing are the responses to heightened emotional situations, outwardly displaying our humanness.
The great thing about this understanding is I don’t have to live this stunted emotional life or fake emotions I don’t feel. I can laugh with you while you cry or cry with you while you laugh, all the while knowing we’re communicating on a higher level for our greater good, because we love each other, verses using crying as an emotional tool!!!