I have always wondered, what is it about speaking a certain word that can invoke raw emotion? I can read a poem or a book and it not effect me as much emotionally. However, if I were to reread the same heartfelt poem or powerful passage in a book out loud I find it tends to shake my soul. The words are just print on paper but when they are spoken, there is passion, there is power given to them. Songs will tend to move me in ways printed letters cannot. I get the same passion when listening to motivational speakers. Its almost as if the words that grip me the most are the ones that I am afraid to speak myself.
I was afraid of emotion for a long time.
I am a male, and through my upbringing, I was encouraged not to cry. I received abuse when I was younger, but the harshest type was always the verbal abuse. I would do something incorrect, get screamed at, cry, than get screamed at louder. In which I would suck it up for the moment to not receive further abuse. Than I just picked up the habit to not cry ever. I became devoid of emotion. I was mockingly referred to as “Mr. Excitement” when I was younger because I was so apathetic at times. I learned to “suck it up” as people would say. What nobody told me was that when you suck it up when you really should be feeling something, it begins to numb your feelings.
As I got older I formed destructive habits, became compulsive, and developed traits of anxiety. I found out, the thing I had to do was what I was so afraid to do; show my emotions. Now I tear up at the slightest act of kindness. I also now feel the power of words. I always knew the spoken word had power. The great orators throughout history, good or bad, intoxicated the masses with their speeches. This had always fascinated me. When I began listening to motivational speeches I could not help but to let it all out. Speakers such as Les Brown and Tony Robbins dared me to stare in the face of my fears. Fears such as vulnerability, failure, humiliation, and not being perfect. They taught me that feeling the emotion will guide you through a challenge much better than stuffing the feeling way down where no one would ever see. Now I can handle emotions more easily. I had to let go of a lot of pain I was holding onto for a long time. A way to release all this bottled up empathy was to weep. It is said that life is like an onion, you have to peel it one layer at a time, and sometimes you cry. I had to peel it all back and look at the core of my person. If we don’t take off the hard shell and stare at the insides of our soul from time to time we begin to forget its there at all. Once I found that piece I had lost, it changed my life. I no longer fear as much as I did. I now know if something needs to come out and be felt then it must be done. I support and respect any person that speaks up for topics such as humanity, equality, animals, or the environment. Words have brought down empires, and they can penetrate any figurative stronghold you have constructed around your heart.
Men, do not be afraid to cry. It does not have anything to do with being weak or out of control. If you don’t let out that which you are feeling it will grow three times as large. It will become a problem for you down the road. Feel now or feel double later. The same goes for any gender. Feelings can be like hot coals, they will burn you the longer you hold onto them. All you have to do is release the coal to be no longer burnt. Release the emotion to get through it in a more healthy manner. You deserve a healthy spirit. If someone asks you, “why cry”, answer, “for me”. You’ll feel so much better once the emotion is processed properly. It will not solve your issue or challenge you face, but through the tears, you can gain new perspectives.