I Don’t Regret My Tears: A New Movement

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“Don’t apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots. ” ~Elizabeth Gilbert

A few nights ago, I was in a loud, noisy restaurant with some friends. In between sipping spicy margaritas and nibbling on chips with guac, I was talking to one of my friends privately about her latest ordeal. He confided in me that he was still worried about the loss of his mother.

Although it had been two years, she found herself crying alone and in front of others when she talked or thought about her mother. He said that last week, someone at work had asked him about his mother, and when he answered, tears started to flow. After that, he was embarrassed and immediately put his hands on his face to wipe away the tears and started apologizing profusely.

“I’m sorry!” laughing. “I didn’t expect to get emotional. I apologize for the tears.”

This stopped me in my tracks. I was just overwhelmed by everything at that time. I thought about this, and it hit me. What is wrong with our society? Wait, don’t answer that. There are so many things, but I am referring to this one in particular.

Why do we apologize when we cry? It should be the complete opposite. To cry is to open one’s heart and soul. It becomes dangerous. It is real, open, and communicative. That’s exactly what we should do when we farm. We cleanse ourselves from our sadness with our tears.

When my boys were little and fussy or fussy, I always said, “It’s better to be out than in,” and this is the same. It is better for them to go out than to go in. They left. Release the flood. Cry your eyes out. And, for the love of us all, don’t apologize.

Instead, I suggest we start a movement. Instead of apologizing, how about we do the opposite? When the tears start to fall, how about saying, “I’m not sorry I’m crying”? This restores our strength. It is the pride of knowing that you are real, vulnerable, and free.

My best friend is a therapist. I talked to him about this, and he told me that almost every time a customer complains, he apologizes to them. Think about that. They paid him some money to “appear,” and told him they were sorry for crying. He told me that he always tells them to never apologize for crying, but that usually doesn’t stop them from saying it at each subsequent meeting.

After realizing the miracle of forgiveness when the tears started to flow, I saw it everywhere. It has been shown in every reality show on TV, as these seem to be the main platforms for crying. Every time I saw someone crying, they were saying, “I’m sorry… oh, I’m sorry…” as they tried to compose themselves. I saw the shame in their faces and mannerisms.

I also went to a funeral recently and noticed that every time someone told me a story and started crying, the next words were always “I’m sorry.” It is available everywhere. I’ve never had someone or seen someone on a show or a movie say, “I’m not sorry. I don’t regret showing my heart, opening my soul, and being vulnerable.”

Think about how you feel when someone starts crying. For me, I’m completely soft inside. No matter the circumstances. Even if I am angry with someone, I don’t like them that much, or I don’t know them well.

When someone cries in front of me, I melt a little inside. Any guard, no matter how big or small, goes down. I really see them as a sentient soul that just happens to be a person. I am attracted to them. I feel connected. I want to be close to them.

I am also honored that they feel safe to cry in front of me. I feel special, even if that wasn’t meant for them at all. I feel like they let me in and show me more of who they are.

So, after coming up with this new roll, I figured I should start practicing it and see how it feels. It appeared two days later. I was telling my husband about the memory I had of his father, who had just passed, and in this tender moment, tears began to fall.

I fell back on my way of thinking and feeling and quickly apologized.

“I’m sorry I’m being emotional,” I said, then remembered. Oh shoot, nooooo, not that. So I prepared the lesson. “I’m not sorry, I mean it.”

The funny thing is I’m sure he didn’t notice my backsliding. Well, I did it. I thought it was better to say sorry. It gave me a job. I didn’t feel weak. I felt the power in my words and in my tears. And it’s not about power; it’s about being real and honest.

There is power in being completely transparent. Life is hard, and our hearts break a little and a lot, and sometimes often. It is our chance to truly live the human experience. To cry is to be human. There is no reason to apologize for being human. Let it go. He let it all out with a lot of anger, then stood up and said, “I’m not sorry, I’m crying” and see how that sounds.

I’m not sorry.

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