I believe that it’s okay to cry. Non-verbal communication is a very important part of everyday life. Personally, it is non-verbal communication that has allowed me to express my most private feelings when I find myself unable to find the right words. When I need to cry it is at my most desperate moments. I am reaching out for help because I don’t have any more hope for myself. So, I look into the mirror and let it out. Eventually, through the tears my feelings turn into words and I rely on my reflection to sort out the problems I feel from inside. I usually end up laughing and feeling much better. I laugh because I can’t believe I cry in front of a mirror, but it works.
There is also a social aspect of letting out emotion. Small boys very rarely fight without an audience. I remember just a few months ago at my aunt’s funeral sobbing uncontrollably. Others around me were crying too, but I wanted to muffle my tears. I suppose I recognized how ridiculous my tears would seem to Aunt Cathy as she was dancing around in heaven. From her view, I should have been crying because I wasn’t having as much fun as her. I suppose I was trying to appear as strong as her eight year old daughter and 10 year old son who were “doing so well” as so many others observed. Again, crying was my escape from the incredible emotions I was feeling. I still do not understand why exactly I cry, but recognize that letting out my emotions helps. It’s okay to cry.
There’s something amazing about having to deal with something that rocks your world. These moments are part of life. Fortunately, I would like to think that they are the instances that make me a better person, a stronger person, capable of change within myself and the world around me. This is the social aspect of emotion at work. Although I may go through dark times alone, I am comforted by the fact that others also go through them. Whenever the mood strikes it is important to let out emotion. I’m not saying the whole world needs to cry in front of a mirror. All I’m saying is that the way to deal with pain is to let it out. Like an infection, the body will only get stronger once the infection is gone.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.