Thursday, January 17, 2013

Men Cry

Men cry.

I'm not sure if you knew that... but, they do. And sometimes, when they cry, it's okay. I used to not always allow such grace. In my head, crying was quite symbolic of weakness and I didn't like the idea of 'weak' men. Remember how I like strong, manly men?

But, they cry. Just like I cry.
Note to Debbie: crying isn't reserved for females.

I think one of the other reasons I wasn't too keen on men crying was that I hadn't seen it much when I was growing up. It was an uncomfortable site to see because when a man cries it's usually that something is really wrong...and we're usually pretty bad creatures at responding well to others in crisis (or maybe that's just me). To this day I can only think of a couple instances that I've seen my dad cry...the most vivid is when one of my brothers was being wheeled away into open heart surgery.

Men don't typically cry at the same things women do, nor at the frequency we do. But there's a strange beauty in allowing them to cry when they need to. Unfortunately, I've often been a forbidder of the male tears. One guy I dated felt no freedom to show this part of himself because he knew I thought of it as a weakness...and, as a result, I then was never allowed into this part of his heart. I don't blame him. I had shut the door before he had even invited me in by making blanket statements about how men shouldn't cry...or, how unattractive it was when they did.

I regret this. I truly do.
Here's something you should know about me and movies: I don't cry during them. At this point it's probably a source of pride, but regardless of how emotional a movie can be, I do whatever it takes to keep tears from rolling down my cheeks. I think the only times I've even considered allowing this 'rule' to be broken have been when I've seen men cry. Weep. Mourn. Embrace each other as they experience loss and heartache and true tragedy.

I think what gets me about scenes like this is that they portray humility. A letting go of walls and defenses, a moment of truly feeling, an ability to not care about maintaining a 'manly' exterior and just existing in the emotion that seizes the entire body. There's something beautiful about it. There's something raw and deep and necessary about it.

As I've been writing this, I recognize that Jesus wept. More than once. It's hard to imagine what that might have been like to witness, and the emotions that might have accompanied such a visual.

But, I think it opens us up to something important about the men in our lives...and the nature of humans. I think there's something necessary to letting ourselves (whether we are men or women) fully embrace what it means to mourn, what it means to weep, what it means to release and allow the tears and the sobs to flow. To let go of having to 'be' a certain way and exist in the moments where we aren't always trying to swallow back tears because we are mortified of what others might think of us.

Women, I hope you'll let men cry when they need to without thinking of them as weak. I hope you'll let them be sensitive and in touch with their emotions. I hope we can recognize that it's good and necessary and value the strength that it takes to allow the tears than the cowardice that comes when they are held back.  And men, I hope you feel the freedom to cry without it taking away from your 'manliness'. That you would be able to bring us women into these places of your heart and soul, that you would let us mourn with you when it's necessary and good.

To sit and to cry together.
No words are needed.
The sorrow may last for the night... and may we then also embrace the fullness of joy that comes in the morning.

Men cry.
And it's good.
Even when I don't always know what to do with it... I'm thankful for it.
Be raw, men. No need to hide. You are strong, even in the tears.

* * *

Your entries will remain anonymous

No comments:

Post a Comment