This past month, I have cried so many times that I have lost count.
I’ve cried over a sad song on the radio.
I’ve cried over an episode of Friends.
I’ve cried over anger.
I’ve cried over happiness.
I’ve cried over sleep deprivation.
I’ve cried over thinking about the worst that can happen.
I’m an emotional person. I always have been, and I always will be. When I am upset, I can’t keep the tears from streaming down my face. I cry in times of frustration, stress, anger, sadness, joy, and gratefulness. For the longest time, I thought that showing emotion was a weakness.
I could not have been more wrong.
Seeing how people handle their emotions has always fascinated me. Maybe it’s just the college psychology major coming out of me, but I think it is so interesting how humans handle their thoughts and feelings independent from one another. I was raised by a mother who was emotional herself and encouraged her children to show emotion. I remember her saying for as long as I can remember, “Never be ashamed of showing emotion. It shows you are genuine and that you care for something.” I sincerely appreciated this value, but I disliked how emotional I was. It was a burden. I often felt like I was spinning out of control when my emotions got the best of me; like there was no way that I could regain my composure. I grew to resent this quality about myself.
I never understood how people could hide their emotions; it frustrated me and confused me. I’ve had friends and past romantic interests who were a closed book at all times. I hated that I never knew how they were feeling. Just tell me how you feel! For me, displaying emotions just happened naturally, even when I wanted to hide how I felt. Like the time I bawled in front of my high school class when I found out that I didn’t get a scholarship I had hoped for. Or the time I fell apart in front of a college math professor who was trying to help me with a concept I didn’t understand. Embarrassing. Why couldn’t I just control myself and just stop crying?!
Emotions are not a sign of weakness
Throughout my journey of self-growth and reflection, I realize that my mother was absolutely right. Showing emotion during hard times is not a sign of weakness. It does not mean that you are a sissy or a baby; it shows that your heart is so pure. Emotions display that you are real and that you stand for something.
Emotions are natural
We are human. The second we come out of the womb, we cry. Emotions are natural and a part of life. To try to hide them would be dehumanizing ourselves and hiding a beautiful part about what makes us individual. Bottling up our emotions is unhealthy and often puts up a barrier between those who love us. It’s important to express our emotions freely without feeling embarrassment or shame.
Emotions are beautiful
Emotions show what you value and cherish. I love seeing mothers choked up because of how proud they are of their children. I love seeing a groom cry at the alter as he sees his wife walk down the aisle. Even showing emotions at a funeral is an appropriate form of grievance because we are honoring human life and saying goodbye. Emotions, in all forms, shapes, and sizes, show the deepest and most raw parts of our souls. They should never be hidden or made to feel that they don’t matter.
Please, don’t be a closed book. If something excites you or makes you cry tears of joy, share that joy with others. If you are feeling depressed, angry, or stressed, talk to someone. Cry on a friends’ shoulder. Let your emotions out. Emotions are a natural mechanism for us to share our greatest joys and hep us to move forward in our lived during difficult times.
Do you feel that showing emotion is a sign of weakness? Are you an emotional person? Leave me a comment below.
Like this post? Check out my other self improvement pieces:
A Letter to You When You’re Feeling Insecure
6 Ways to Practice Self-Love