The running joke among my family and friends is I cry at everything. I cry at commercials, I cry when I’m happy, I cry when others cry, I cry…well a lot.
If I share a story that incorporates acknowledging that I’ve cried, I often follow up with “I know, shocking, I cried”. Like I have to defend who I am. This is something I’ve been embarrassed about over the years. I always feel like I have to give a reason to why I am crying or hide my tears (like last Sunday at church). It’s like I have this notation that feeling emotions is not okay?! I can’t be alone in this, can I??
But recently, I had an incident where I cried in front of a friend who showed me a video of her brother who passed a couple of years ago. I apologized for my tears and explained that I just felt that 1) the video was so sweet and such a touching memory and 2) heartbreaking that he’s no longer here on Earth. I’ve never met her brother, but felt so touched by this video.
Do you know what she said to me?
“You must have the biggest heart?”
I walked away from the conversation thinking a lot about this. Yeah, I would describe myself as someone with a big heart. But I’ve always looked at my easily teary-eyed self as weak or as though this was something negative. So I decided to make a decision…I’m going to own my tears.
However, fast forward to yesterday…I haven’t been owning my tears and found myself in yet another situation that I felt like I had to defend myself for tearing up so easily.
But thankfully the same individual that pointed out that I must have a big heart was part of this situation and said she something that resonated even more with me…
“You are just so empathetic to others, you feel what they are feeling…”
Then it clicked. Nothing about my easily teary-eyed self is negative, but a sign that I can relate to others, I have a big heart, and I get people (well most of the times ha!).
So this time, I really am going to start owning my tears.
And as with all things that I’m contemplating…I went to scripture. This one stuck out the most:
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Romans 12:15 (NIV)
And just several verses ahead of the above:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
So it’s your turn!
Are you easily tearful? Do you cry when others are crying? Do you feel embarrassed when you cry at church, or at a commercial, or while watching a video on Facebook?
If so, start owning those tears! Because if I had to guess, it makes you an empathetic person with a huge heart, too!
And lastly, my take away from all of this…
Be who God wants YOU to be. Do not let others bring you down or make you feel guilty for who you are….and most definitely, do not let your own insecurities dictate who God wants you to be. You be YOU! The fearfully, wonderfully made YOU!