On a daily basis, I have to hold back tears. I look up at the ceiling, hold my breath, and think “don’t cry, don’t you do it.” I count to ten, willing them away. I feel them swell in my eyes, ready to cascade down my cheek, traitors to my inner emotions. They shout to the world “Emily’s losing it!”
Let’s face it. I’m a sensitive person. I’m a tangled ball of emotions and feelings.
Maybe I just watched Meredith professing her love to Derek, saying “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” Or I just got to the part in Harry Potter where he’s walking through the Forbidden Forrest with his family, accepting his ultimate death at the hands of Voldemort. Maybe I thought back to the last time I talked to my adopted grandparent Kenny and how he replied to my text message with a weird “sorrrrry.” Maybe I was thinking about the time my friend and I broke into a swimming pool and I realized I had found the perfect partner in crime.
Maybe I’m human.
It’s not such a terrible thing to show emotions. To be real and honest, not just with yourself, but with everyone. After all, we all have feelings. We all feel pain, sorrow, and helplessness. But even more so, we all feel joy and happiness.
Why do we choose to bottle it up and avoid expressing it?
I’ve heard before that our need to avoid crying was developed at a young age. Mothers and fathers tell their children to stop crying once they fall down, get hurt, or throw a fit. I’m not a parent, but I’m guessing it’s just a way for parents to “toughen up” their kids. The scratch on your knee is fleeting pain; the tantrum about not playing with a certain toy is insignificant. The tears that children shed are often for small things – maybe our parents really wanted us to save our tears for what really matters.
Even though we’ve been crying literally since birth, there is still a certain shame associated with crying or showing emotions. People are uncomfortable with it – they shy away. It’s something that I even do from time to time. I have never known how to react when people cry, even though I am a very emotional person.
I’ve been trying to get to the root of the problem with tears. Initially, I leaned towards the idea that people view crying as a weakness. And to a degree, I’m sure some people view their own tears as a form of “breaking down.” Sometimes I feel the same way – I’m stronger than this, I shouldn’t be crying.
But to say that people view my tears as weakness is probably too cynical. Some people may pity me. Some people may feel sorry for my pain. But I don’t think that’s the whole story.
Maybe we shy away from it because we don’t understand it – we’re disconnected from the other person’s emotions. Maybe we shy away because that’s how we were raised. Maybe we even shy away from it because it’s too much for us – it sparks our own emotions which we might not be prepared to handle.
To allow the pain or even happiness to consume us so wholly is something people often don’t do. It’s overwhelming to the point where tears need to be let go of. It’s not a quiet and reserved feeling; it’s passionate and full – and isn’t that so much better?
I’d much rather be able to feel everything than to feel something weakly.
Because I’m a passionate person. I feel sadness when I lose a friend. I feel anger knowing that I could have been a better person. I feel happiness believing in love – especially Derek and Meredith’s love. I feel joy when I make a giant splash in a puddle.
It doesn’t make me weak. It makes me strong. I don’t run away from my feelings. I don’t hide from feeling overwhelmed. I embrace it.
One of my favorite quotes sums this up perfectly… “I still get very high and very low in life. Daily. But I’ve finally accepted the fact that sensitive is just how I was made, that I don’t have to hide it and I don’t have to fix it. I’m not broken.”
And if you want to get REALLY educated on tears and their origin, here’s a great article: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/why-do-we-cry-the-science-of-tears-9741287.html
This is an excerpt taken from the article posted above, “Tears are a positive representation of who we are. It demonstrates not only our deep emotional connections with our world – past, present, and future – but allows us to visibly celebrate that fact. They are also scientifically proven to make you feel better. So go on and wear your tears with pride.”