A wise woman recently told me, “Crying is not a weakness. Feeling is not a weakness. It’s what makes you who you are, an artist.”
Here’s a bit of self-disclosure: In all honesty I could have cried while typing the quote above, but for those who know me well, that would not come as a shock. When you feel everything, and not just a little bit, you’re not afraid of strong feelings. The scariest moments are ones in which you feel only numb.
But, in our culture, tears are a symbol of weakness. We hear things like, “Don’t cry over spilled milk!” What I’m learning is if the only thing you were looking forward to throughout your entire day was a glass of milk, you have every right to shed a tear or twenty. Especially as social media expands, I feel that more people are aware of the frequency at which men have felt the need to repress their sensitivity. What’s supposedly at stake is masculinity, but what many are ignorant to is that to save your rep, you are suppressing far more of yourself than just your “feminine side.” Everyone, at one time or another, regardless of gender, is told to “suck it up.” By doing so, you are making an inauthentic choice and ignoring part of yourself. By beating yourself up each time you authentically break down, you are basically inculcating in yourself the belief that part of you is defective.
Crying does not make you pathetic. Feeling does not make you ridiculous. Through strong emotions, we as human beings are able to create incredible things. We can write songs that resonate so deeply within others that they feel the need to dance. Feeling provokes feeling, and creation sparks creation. We are able to connect! We are able to live fully, earnestly, and without remorse for exposing our truth. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we praised true authenticity in life, as we do in art? In the greatest works of all time there is grief, love, anxiety, and ecstasy and tears for every occasion. Sincerely, I think our entire lives should be the greatest testament to our artistry.