Overcoming Difficulties ~ “Why Are You Crying?”

Crying is defined as “to weep, shed tears, with or without sound”. Everyone cries, from an infant to the elderly…we all do it. Its a natural process.

We cry because we’re relieved, joyful and excited about a situation. We also cry because we are troubled, sad, stressed and confused. We are hardly questioned or judges as to why we cry for excitement or joy. However, we are questioned when others realize we’re crying because of a stressful situation.

The questions, “why are you crying, what’s the matter or how can I help”, are good questions to ask when you feel you can help your friend or family member. Oftentimes, friends and family members question your faith, when you’re crying, as if to have faith, for some reason, means you don’t have a reason to cry or you shouldn’t cry at all!

Some people feel that crying is a sign of weakness. They look upon the one crying as if they don’t cry themselves. Its appears to be so easy to judge others when you don’t know their story.
I’ve been asked, “Ms Muhammad, is it okay for me to cry? My family and friends tell me to get over it. Stop crying…you’re pathetic and weak. Keep it moving!”

These questions and statements, from others looking at and judging others in pain, are very troubling. My answer to this question: “Crying is empowering. Crying is a stress reliever. You should cry until you can’t cry anymore. Last I heard, even Jesus wept. Don’t allow anyone to tell you how to handle your current or past situation. Your emotions are yours and you have the right to express them the way you chose. You cry as long and as much as your need to for your healing.”

Crying is the result of bottled up emotions. When the tears begin to well up in your eyes and you don’t feel comfortable or safe crying in front of others, find a safe place and let it out. I’m reminded of song, when I was in high school, by B.T. Express called, “Shout It Out”. I’ve included the link for your convenience to listen. http://youtu.be/5uRLTtBs90Y. Many songs, during those days, were of empowerment, lifting your spirits and how to handle your situations.

When I was in the midst of my situation, (the DC Sniper case) I didn’t feel safe crying in front of anyone. My children were looking to me to be strong. Crying in front of them would have caused more harm than good. I cried in front of those, I thought, would understand and comfort me. Instead, they called me weak, pathetic, and questioned my faith. They called me a coward and I didn’t have a reason to cry. I remember one person telling me that I could not cry because she was depending on me for hope and if I cried then her hope would be gone. She yelled at me to stop crying…smh. I was confused, hurt and in so much pain.

I began going to the park at times when no one was there. I would park in the isolated area of the park. Always security-minded, I backed into the space. I turned off the engine but left the radio on. I would turn it up, full blast and scream! I would cry until I could not cry anymore. I can remember continuing that cycle about five times. The first time was the longest, about 45 minutes. The next four times, the lengths were less and less. The last time was 15 minutes.

These days, I shed tears but not like I did back then. I believe I screamed and cried all the pain out. Doesn’t mean the tears have stopped. Now, when I cry, I make it a point to know and understand why each tear falls. Understanding why I’m crying is just as important as the act itself. I want to make sure that I’m not crying over or for the same issue over and over again. For me, that means I’m not moving or growing emotionally or spiritually.

So, moving forward…the next time you are witnessing someone crying, understand they maybe in pain and they don’t want to hear you question their faith. Tell them everything will be alright, provide a sympathetic ear, comfort them and give them a hug (if they want it). These actions will help them to heal feeling someone actually cares. Its not easy crying in front of others. Don’t make that process more difficult than what it has to be.
Release your faith, knowing with assurance, that ALL circumstances will work in your favor today! Have a great rest of the day.
Mildred D Muhammad