The other day, I cried a little. It wasn’t a sad cry nor was it a feeling sorry for myself cry. But a few tears rolled down my cheek. And I was watching a YouTube video.
My two daughters like to watch families on YouTube who document their everyday life. Given that the remote control seems to never be in my hand, I end up watching them too and have become invested in some of their stories.
So when I sat down to work on my computer, I turned on YouTube to have some running vlogs playing in the background. And I saw one of those families in the “recommended” section. So I clicked play.
The video was about a couple whose third child was just born. In the video, they put the baby in the laps of their other two children who are both toddlers. For me, it was a special moment because I remember doing the same thing with my girls. And it reminded me how precious those moments are.
So I cried. A happy cry.
I’m not ashamed I cry sometimes. No one should be. It is a natural human emotion that releases pain, joy, sadness, happiness, and a hundred other feelings. It’s good. And it’s healthy — whether you are a man or a woman.
I feel emotion deeply. It’s a part of who I am. I embrace it more than trying to avoid it.
I honor those feelings that come to me because I’ve learned to hold them in is much worse than letting them go.
I could cry thinking about my kids — and spending two hours after watching the video looking through old photos of when they were younger.
“Let your tears come. Let them water your soul.” — Eileen Mayhew
It could be a cute baby on the television.
I might shed a tear remembering a loved one. Or remembering tough times — or even good times.
It could be thinking about the future or reflecting on the past.
I might cry when reading your story here on Medium and feeling your pain. Because I’ve felt it too.
It could be because I’m happy or sad — or somewhere in between.
It could be while I’m writing this.
I’m reminded of the speech by Jimmy Valvano when I cry. If you haven’t seen it, please take the time to do so. It’s wonderful and something I’ll always remember. I watch it often.
And I know it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to share your emotions with others and those you care about — and with those who care about you. Like Coach Valvano, I’m emotional and passionate about things which mean a lot to me. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s what makes me alive.
I know it’s okay to share it with you, too. Because a lot of you need to cry and know it’s fine to do so. So go ahead. Let it go.
“Crying is never a symbol of weakness. From the time we are born, it has always been a sign that we are alive….” — Unknown
Article originally appeared on Medium in August 2018. It has been edited, improved, and Recycled.
Jeff Barton is a writer, ultra-runner, lover of books and zombies, a practitioner of positive thinking, and most importantly, a dad. Living and loving life one day at a time. You can find him at jeffthewriter.com and jefftherunner.com.
Image courtesy of Tom Pumford.