By Kate Kole
I’m a crier. I cry when I’m laughing, scared, frustrated and sad. I cry over good news, and bad news, and the news on TV. I even cry when I see the 2-minute preview for the upcoming episode of This Is Us. I used to habitually fight back my emotions and I think my body is still making up for lost time.
It’s often during Subaru commercials that move me to tears, or, when I’m reading an article aloud to my husband and start to feel the waterworks welling up, that I find myself apologizing. I excuse my emotions as hormonal, or due to the fact that I’m tired, or simply because I’m just too sensitive. I sheepishly acknowledge that something must be wrong with me, because I simply feel things too deeply.
Essentially, I say sorry for the things that contribute to the person that I am. I attempt to distance myself or harden myself or numb myself back to a place that I believe to be normal and acceptable. And in doing so, I ignore, if not completely sacrifice, a piece of myself. I take away from the meaning of the moment, toning down what I’m willing to experience.
I’m not the only person to do this. I think we all do it in one way or another. A couple weeks ago, my nephews won the opportunity to have the local firemen pick them up from home and drive them to their elementary school – a 6, 8, and 10-year-old boy’s dream come true. They pulled up to the curb with sirens roaring, to the sight of their classmates lined up, chanting their names. My sister sent us the video, saying that every kid deserved that kind of reception at some point during their childhood.
Naturally, I got a little weepy in a good way, watching how joyful and excited my nephews were. I thought about how that happy memory will likely stay with them for the rest of their lives. And when I talked to my sister later that afternoon about the whole experience, she said she felt the same way. She was taken off guard as she fought back tears, watching her kids climb off the truck with their friends surrounding them and cheering them on.
I laughed and told her I cried at the sight of the video, so I think that she as their mom had every right to shed some tears in real time. And then
we had a conversation I went on a mostly long-winded rant about how we shouldn’t feel the need to hide our emotions anyway. That feeling moved by life isn’t reason for embarrassment, or shame, or justification. It’s who we are. It’s what we bring to the table. It’s our guiding light.
Maybe your trademark trait is sensitivity, too. Things impact you in a way that they don’t seem to affect others. Or it’s your passion and the way you fight for what matters to you. Or your ambition and how you’ll do whatever it takes to achieve your dreams. Or your creativity and the indescribable way you feel when bringing your ideas to life. Or your compassion and the way your heart is drawn to helping others.
Whatever your thing is: Own it. Nourish it. Embrace it. Run with it. Be bold enough to be yourself without feeling the need to modify, change, or apologize for it.
Say sorry when you’ve done something wrong, and resist the urge to say it when you’ve simply chosen to live according to your soul. Because the world needs the outliers. It needs the people who feel things deeply and see things differently. It needs us as we truly are, not as what we think we’re supposed to be.
featured image via pexels