The Subtle Role of Crying in Self Love

person in black hoodie sitting on train bench
Photo by Steven Arenas on

Most of the time, the random inspiration words we use in front of our sad friends are utterly empty in spiritual value, the equivalent of high-GI sugary fast food.

  1. Be Happy
  2. Love Yourself
  3. Forgive Yourself
  4. Be Kind

I believe the real way we can adequately and properly self-love is by crying. 

Do you have the strength to cry? In my little experience, a large majority of individuals I come across seem to contain their tears because our society thinks crying in public is unacceptable. I wonder how it is that if you and I are to completely support success in life that we can also dampen our emotional response to that life. It seems to me that restraining tears somehow means that you’re capable and strong, unaffected by and disconnected from the influence of others. What I’m proposing is that to detach from others is to be invulnerable to one’s self; to be resistant to your whole being, your whole life, and your real good.

Not crying when you want to is not risking but picking safety—whether joyful or painful, withholding your tears is to choose the gray fog of detachment to yourself. That, readers, is the definition of neglect and absence of self-love.

In my life, I used to hope I wouldn’t cry. My capacity for tears was always beyond my power. I couldn’t just stop myself, and yet, I didn’t desire to cry. I didn’t want others to notice my pain or know that I lacked self-discipline and confidence. Most of all, I tried to hide my feelings because I linked them with my father. I thought his tears were a sign of weakness and pain. I felt his emotional waves were the reason my mother left us. And if there was genuinely anything I didn’t want, it was more abandonment.

I once thought that my ability to feel life so deeply was my most significant liability. And, once my best friend had a baby who left the baby at my place for two months, it only got worse. I could weep at the drop of a hat, and eventually, I dodged fighting the tears. I yelled at home, at work, in cafes, and at meetings.

Then one day, a friend of mine taught me the true meaning of emotions. Its translation completely shifted my willingness to cry without prejudice. She told me that the origin of emote was Latin. She mentioned that E stands for I, and MOTE means MOVE. Emote really means I-MOVE. And the more I cried, the closer I moved towards the real me.

I realized that my tears were a link to the intimacy I’d always wanted with myself. And the more support I gave myself to cry, the more people would come to me and say, “Thank you. You surprise me at how you can let yourself feel. It touched me, and I wish I could do that too.”

So, if you want to love yourself, let your emotions flow. Let your tears flow. Could you not hold back? It is not worth it.

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