“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness,” wrote Steve Maraboli.
Crying does not make us weak. In fact, it makes us much more human than we were before.
Here are five reasons strong people cry:
1. You care about your health and well-being.
Indulging in a good cry makes us feel better. It releases anxiety, stress, and negativity in a real and physical way. Crying has been shown to lower blood pressure and remove harmful toxins from the body. It also reduces our levels of manganese, a mineral which has been proven to negatively impact our mood. According to medical science, you shouldn’t “suck it up” or “hold it in” when you are hurting. Instead, you should let go of your emotions – and with them, your mental, emotional, and physical burdens.
2. You’re not scared of other peoples’ criticism.
Crying is one of the greatest displays of vulnerability in which a human being can engage. It takes guts to be vulnerable. It also takes a strong sense of self-knowledge and positive self-esteem. Letting the world know that you are hurting opens your heart up to judgement, pity, scorn, and even shame. However, it also opens your heart up to compassion and healing. A person who chooses to cry in front of others is showing a tremendous sense of faith in humanity and in their own value and strength.
3. You have the power to take on what others never will.
It’s easy to dismiss a difficult situation with little thought. It’s much harder to face it. The breakups that produce the most tears are often those in which both parties were most invested. They had the strength to throw their hearts into something beautiful. They had the courage to care deeply for another human being. That’s why it hurts so much when things fall apart. Some people avoid the tears by never allowing themselves to truly fall. This is effective in protecting the heart. However, it’s not truly living. As Garth Brooks sang, “Life is not tried, it is merely survived if you’re standing outside the fire.”
4. You want to liberate those around you.
When we see a strong person crying, it makes it okay for the rest of us to cry. With every tear, you can help to reduce society’s stigma against not only crying, but feeling emotion itself. Unfortunately, many people are raised to understand crying as a sign of weakness. They feel ashamed when they cry. They’re afraid they look foolish, childish, or even emotionally unstable. To see a strong person crying can be a powerful experience for someone like this. You are showing them that emotions do not make us weak. They make us human. Allowing ourselves to feel them can help us grow into stronger and more complete people.
5. You have the courage to confront your emotions.
Many people will do anything to avoid coming head-to-head with a difficult feeling. We know it will hurt us, so we try to escape. Unfortunately, as a wise person knows, we can never truly run very far from our emotions. In fact, they only grow stronger the longer we turn away. Marching in to meet them in battle can take a great deal of bravery. It is the challenge of doing something courageous that brings tears – not the shame of defeat or a weak will.
“You know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit,” explained Lemony Snicket. Let go of your tears. Release the worst of your emotions, and encourage those around you to do the same. Engage is this human act, and show off your strength and wisdom to the world.