My life used to suck.
As a younger man I was insecure, needy, sad for no apparent reason, and I had a lot of stuff from my childhood that I hadn’t worked through yet. I found myself in unhealthy relationships, unfulfilling jobs, and uninspiring friendships. And I hadn’t yet developed methods for dealing with the ups and downs of life, which left me absolutely frustrated at times. But as much as my life sucked, I never cried.
You see, I was taught by societal norms that crying is for girls and babies. So I didn’t cry even when there was a perfectly good reason to. The only times I remember crying in my early twenties were when I got drunk and finally let down the facade of a man who had everything together. Then I would bawl my brains out, usually on the shoulder or lap of a close friend. Not exactly the healthiest situation.
Fast forward to today and my life is amazing. I wake up every day and jump out of bed like I’m on fire. I am my healthiest, happiest, and absolute best self ever. I have tools, frameworks, and methods for dealing with anything that life has to throw at me. I can reframe any shitty situation into rainbows, puppies, and unicorns.
For some reason though, since my life has gotten better I actually cry more.
For the past year or two, I cry at least once during a good 75% of the movies I watch. I cried watching this Chipotle commercial. For heaven’s sake, I even teared up a little watching Step Up 3D. Seriously.
It’s not that I’m sad, I’m just easily inspired and moved. With all the self-work I’ve done over the years, I almost feel as if I’ve increased the capacity of my heart to experience emotion. Although I rarely watch TV, shows like American Idol and The Voice get me every time. When I see someone living his or her life to their full potential, I can’t help but shed a couple tears of joy.
And the Notebook. Don’t even get me started on the Notebook. The first time I watched that I had to excuse myself from a girlfriend’s living room to the bathroom where I weeped in the fetal position for several minutes. True story.
Tonight I cried for a while for a perfectly good reason. Afterwards I felt great. So great that I felt like I had to share it with the world. So here it is.
Part of me hopes this gets shared into the hands of those who vehemently disagree. Part of me almost hopes I get hate mail or comments from guys who think “crying is for pussies.” Trust me dude, you’re on the wrong side of the issue here. Don’t try to be so macho that you lose sight of actually being a human being.
And if you ever want to let down your guard and start living life with an open heart, I’ll be here to give you a shoulder to cry on.
Yes, I am a man. A confident, secure, strong, healthy, and happy man. And I’m not afraid to cry.