Do any of you just HATE to cry? If that’s you, join the club. I HATE crying. I can’t stand it when I break down. Why? I knew you would ask this question. I can’t exactly put my finger on the reason because I know my reasons sound pretty stupid. You want to know why I hate crying? It makes me feel like an idiot. I usually feel so completely foolish afterword, that, in some ways, I feel even worse than before I cried. I feel like, since I’m a tough girl, I shouldn’t be crying. There is absolutely no reason to be crying. But that’s not always true.
On a side note, I was raised with a lot of boys. Boys don’t cry either, right? I learned early on that if I wanted to hang out with the boys, I couldn’t cry over every little thing. I learned quickly that a punch to the arm or, better yet, the gut, was a test to see if I would cry. It only took a couple times for me to suck it up and not cry when my brothers would pick on me. Once I wouldn’t cry, the picking didn’t happen. Older brothers can be jerks. Just sayin’.
So, back to the reason why I hate to cry. I feel like a wimp if I cry. Seriously. I have given birth to four of my five children with absolutely no pain medication. No crying. I would have probably done the first one without pain meds too, but she was a c-section. I don’t think that’s an option for those… Anyway, I completely blew out my knee when I was fifteen years old. Didn’t shed a single tear. I have been dragged by a horse down a concrete driveway. Nothing. Not a drop. I can take pain like a pro, but I can’t handle life. Wow. What a croc. Am I really that stupid?? Is life really THAT bad? What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just suck it up and deal with it?
These are the questions that run through my brain every time I cry. I always tell myself that other people out there have life so much worse, but for some stupid reason, it isn’t very comforting. It should be, but it isn’t. It just makes me feel like a jerk. And that makes me cry more. It’s a terrible circle, this crying thing.
But, awhile back, I discovered something. Just because I’m a tough girl doesn’t mean that I don’t have feelings. Just because I can take some “brotherly love” to the gut, doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t hurt emotionally because of something going on in my life. It doesn’t even have to be something in my life. There are times when I’ve cried so hard it hurt my head because of something going on in a friend’s life. Sometimes that completely raw emotion of bawling your eyes out with huge body-shaking gasps is exactly what your body and brain need. It’s a restart. It’s a refresher. It’s a cleansing. It’s a RELEASE.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to keep all my sad, depressed, frustrated, etc. emotions bottled up inside me. I don’t want to show those emotions because I don’t want people to think I’m weak. I don’t want people to think that I’m having trouble with life. I don’t want to inconvenience people with my issues. I don’t want to look like an idiot, so I just keep it to myself. Most times I don’t even show my emotions to my husband. I don’t want him to get stressed out by seeing me upset over who knows what. I have learned that a good cry while I’m hidden away all by myself is very good for my mind and emotions. But I still feel like an idiot.
Another thing I have learned along the way is that God made women to be more emotional than men. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we should go around blubbering about every little thing or being a spaz because we think it’s our “right” as a woman. What I am saying is that God made us with emotions to help us better explain what is going on in our mind and in our heart. God made women to be more sensitive than men. That is how we are wired. I’m not going to get into that any deeper at the moment, but that knowledge makes me feel a little better about crying. My crying is actually a God-given gift, and it is meant to heal my soul and refresh my mind and emotions. My tears are literally washing away the grime of the days, weeks, and, sometimes, months of stress, depression, fear, anxiety, and worry. Tears are a good thing. They are helping us!
So, the next time you cry, think about those things. Just like anything else, when they are used properly, tears are a wonderful gift and an amazing tool to refresh and clean your spirit. Tears are a good thing! From now on, when I can’t hold back my emotions any longer, I will think of my tears this way. I’m no longer going to ask myself that terrible list of questions I mentioned earlier. I will think of all the ways God has blessed me and of all the wonderful tools he has given me to navigate life. Even as some of those tools are streaming down my face. Yes, I can, and will, still be a tough girl. But even tough girls cry sometimes.