I really like the way men cry these days. We must be teaching our little boys something different than we used to about having and expressing feelings because for generations men were not allowed to cry. Now you see it everywhere. Men cry on television all the time if they win the reality dance/singing/cooking competition, or if they lose at something, or if they are Speaker of the House. I think it is wonderful. I feel pretty sure that during my father’s entire life he gave himself no permission to cry whatsoever, so when it happened because it insisted on being heard, he could barely stand it. I think he was afraid to cry because our culture told him it showed his weakness and it was preferable to pretend you were invincible and devoid of feelings, even if your wife just died. Especially if you were a man.
My 21-year old son has said at times that music has moved him to tears. And he has not been shy to cry when he feels it. I am grateful we’ve been able to raise a kid who can find his emotions and embrace them without fear. Having emotions is part of being human and embracing them and accepting them is part of the experience.
After all the years of psychotherapy I’ve had I have come to see that when you feel like crying it is time to do it. If I’d been allowed to cry as a child, freely and without judgement about what it might mean besides an expression of the human experience, I might myself be more comfortable with the whole thing.