I Used To Never Let Them See Me Cry.

It feels strong to be tough.  To be thrown a few darts but give off the impression that your skin is the equivalent to a shield.  If strength lies in surviving an attack then we should all win a medal.

We are attacked and hit at constantly and our emotional shields are but hand-me-downs from the one we used last year.  Even our shields have a date of expiration when their wear has out-grown their protection.

We can only hide so long, and I’m afraid my hide-and-seek spot has been found.

I used to never let them see me cry.

But now…I cry.  I feel in the moment what I wish I could push down and save for retirement.  I feel it all.  I feel the hurts, the stings, the excitement, the hugs, the joys, and the tears.  All of it.  And they see it all.

My kids have been my witnesses, watching one of the strongest people they know allow herself to be emotional right in front of them.  No more closets, no more locked bathroom doors.  Right here in the kitchen, out in the open, unashamed that I have feelings and sometimes they get hurt.  They are watching, and they are learning what I have forgotten to teach them up until this moment: It’s ok to cry.

As I finished wiping my tears, my four-year-old saw my emotions and declared in the kitchen that it was “hug time” and I was surrounded by a house that declares “you are safe here, even to cry”.

What love?  To feel emotions and have people turn towards us and not away in the moment of expressing them.

Please children, please friends, learn now what has taken me so long to figure out: It’s ok to cry.  It’s ok to cry when you’re sad, it’s ok to cry when you’re happy, it’s ok to cry when you’re mad.  It’s ok to cry.  You are safe here.

I used to never let them see me cry.

And now, now that I have been found, and my tears flow faster than I can lock the door,  there is beauty that I have found in letting them see me cry.

When we keep the door open I am watching their doors stay open as well.  I am seeing their awful days at school and hurtful experiences with friends, and they are keeping the door open.  They are crying in the kitchen and we are hugging on the family room floor.  I am letting them see me cry, and now they are feeling safe enough to do the same.

What a gift I wasn’t expecting from the tough mask I thought was keeping everyone safe.  This is safety.  Loving them enough to let me see me cry and loving them enough to tell them it’s safe when they do it as well.

I used to never let them see me cry, and I missed out on so much living my life that way.


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