I was talking to another mom who has watched her child succumb to addiction which is equal to watching them self destruct. Do you know how hard that is? Your child is doing something you know is destructive and deadly yet there’s not a damn thing you can do to fix it or stop them.
All you can do is work on yourself and hope that setting those boundaries and working on how you communicate and express love will inspire a recovery effort. The truth is, we cannot do this for them.
So while we were talking about all this, my friend got emotional like moms and dads often do when we talk one on one with one another suffering this journey. While her son is still alive, it’s not the relationship she had thought it would be and she doesn’t really know if he is doing well or not. That’s not how we envision parenthood, and divorcing that fantasy of the ideal family is hard.
And then the urge hit. To apologize for the tears. I told her I wasn’t afraid of her tears, but the truth is, I always have the urge to apologize when I cry, too. I often do apologize or cry in private for the most part.
So that moment got me to thinking. Why do we think crying is bad? Why do we hide it so? Resist it even. It’s a human emotion and it’s normal and quite frankly, good for you. Letting it all out.
But we think of crying as a weakness. Or that we must be bringing someone else down if they see us cry–making them feel helpless. Maybe the other person will think we aren’t worth being around because we have a moment of sadness. We want to present ourselves as strong and in control. And most of all, happy.
We should allow ourselves permission to feel sadness and share that moment with our friends. Those tears foster human connection and deepen relationships. Allowing another to feel those tears and release the pent up pain they are feeling is a gift. We shouldn’t feel we have to apologize for it.