I see that this is often mistaken for weakness. Some kind of abandonment of truth and reason. Women are "crazy" or " too emotional" or "hormonal". While we are indeed emotional, and often hormonal - that doesn't make what we say any less true. It doesn't make the way we think any less rational. I would love to believe that in 2014 we have earned enough respect among our peers, men and women alike, to be taken seriously, even if a tear falls as we speak.
I cry at Mass, almost every week. I sometimes get funny looks, though it has gone on so long that most people don't even seem to notice. But think about it for a minute. Why WOULDN'T I shed tears at the Mass? I am in the presence of Our Lord. The Blessed Mother is near - my own sweet babies in heaven are among the communion of saints. So I just let the tears flow. They are now tears of joy where once they were tears of sorrow. I used to hide behind my hands, knowing that is was pretty useless. But can you, knowing that I am allowing myself to be swept into the Mass, blame me for my tears?
Music moves me. I am no good at it. Can't sing, can't play an instrument, but I love it. So many songs hold deep meaning for me, as I am sure they do for most people. When I hear a song that takes me back to a certain time in my life, reminds me of a precious moment or allows me to feel close to someone now gone from my life, the tears will flow. Even if it is just the beauty of the music, my eyes will often well with tears.
Love for my family, my children, yes - my sweet and amazing husband - absolutely. But also for my grandmother, who is in a nursing home. I can't help but cry every time I leave her. She doesn't really know me, but I know that she would hate being there, not knowing who anyone is or why she is there. When I see a niece or nephew accomplish something - anything, great or small, my eyes fill. When I know one of my sisters or brother is in some kind of pain, I cry. My parents, who are the very center of who I am - my love for them fills me with gratitude and yes, tears.
I choke up when I think of my children and my sweet nieces and nephew who all lost much loved grandmothers this summer. The memory of these sweet ones' trembling chins will fill my eyes. The knowledge that my husband hasn't slept through the night since he lost his mother and knowing my father in law will never, ever recover from her loss will have tears falling down my cheeks.
I cry when I get mad. Anger - it's the fastest way to make me cry. Make me angry, and you will see tears. Act like my tears somehow deny the truth of my feelings or lessen my argument? Big, plopping, furious tears.
And yes, I cry at silly stuff. Commercials, current events, movies, happy thoughts and internet memes. I cry all the time - does this make me weak? Does it make me stupid? Hormonal, overly emotional, crazy?
Or does it make me a woman? Sensitive, feminine, emotional. Seeking something beyond what is in front of my eyes. Even my kids say I over analyse - but that's what we do - that's how we problem solve, evaluate our decisions. It's how we empathize with the people in our lives and those across the globe. We lead with our hearts because our hearts are the softest place to land. As long as we always keep truth and reason, being emotional is nothing for which to be ashamed. Being emotional does not mean we are weak, it means we love. We have empathy. If we cry for you, we are sharing our love for you - for if you have the ability to make us cry, then you are important to us in some way.