Men are societally discouraged from crying from a young age, and that’s a problem.
As a result of men chronically suppressing their emotions, we have a drastically higher rate of suicide.
Of course there are other factors that lead to people taking their lives, but I see emotional suppression as the component that is the leading cause by a landslide.
Think of it like this…
People seriously consider suicide as an option when their pain begins to exceed their coping resources. And what causes pain? The cumulation of stored negative emotions. And why do men frequently have less coping resources than women when it comes to sharing their emotions? Because being seen as emotional is thought of as less acceptable for men.
If men only knew how beautiful and healing it was when they cried, then that suppressed emotional energy wouldn’t need to claim the lives that it does every year.
It Takes Courage And Strength To Feel Your Feelings
I’ve heard men boast about how they haven’t cried in years, as if being emotionally constipated is somehow a badge of honour to brag about.
Turning your back on your pain is easy, but it takes the ultimate courage to lean into your pain and feel your feelings.
In the short term, it’s easy to pretend that your pain isn’t there… to numb yourself with work, food, sex, or other compulsive distractions.
The harder path is to face your fear directly.
There are certain stress hormones that are only released through sweating and crying. So, sure, you can put on your workout gear and buy a gym pass to move your cortisol through your body… or you can slow down for a minute and have a good cry.
The Magical Shield Of Invincibility
One of my favourite parables comes from the author Paul Bunyan, in his book The Pilgrim’s Progress.
In this book, the protagonist has a magical shield. This shield makes him entirely invincible as long as he goes towards his opponents directly. If he goes at them at an angle, or he turns his back on them, then the shield loses all of it’s power and he is immediately made vulnerable.
The lesson: go towards your fears directly. If you face your challenges head-on, you will survive and grow stronger. If you attack your life’s challenges half-heartedly, you will become disempowered.
Lean into your emotional processing.
You are allowed to cry. You are allowed to release your old pain. You are allowed to walk through the fires of alchemy in order to come out stronger on the other side.
You are not a robot. You are a soft-bodied, human animal.
You are allowed to feel.
And the more you internalize the reality that your emotions are acceptable, necessary, and beautiful, the more you will attract people into your life that agree with you and treat your emotions with a similar sense of reverence.
I know it isn’t easy to overcome decades of counter-conditioning and emotional suppression, but the world needs you in all of your emotionally expressed glory.
Wear your tears like badges of honour.
You’ve earned them.
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Primary/header photo courtesy of Heather Pennell of RisingWoman.com