Friends and family alike will vouch for me when I say I never cry. I just can’t, even when I want to. The picture above is from Bride Wars, starring the fabulous Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. Kate Hudson has just cried to her fiancé, only to finally admit “it’s exhausting having to try to be perfect all the time”. Behold the perfectionist complex.
I have this preconceived notion that crying is an outward representation of me not being able to hold it together. A sign of weakness; as if crying is a symbolic visual of my inner struggle. Perfectionists never want anyone to see them struggle. They would have to fold their cards right then and there. But why is it that we are convinced that crying is a sign of weakness, or overly-emotional?
According to WebMD tears form in the eye sockets and slowly trickle over the eye. Once you blink the tears scatter across the eye creating moisture. When you become emotional or sad, an increase in energy causes tears to build up naturally needing a release. Some scientists believe that tears release hormones or toxins. If your body is naturally asking you to release the emotions from within how is that a sign of imperfection or weakness?
Let’s compare this to a more relatable situation. Who doesn’t love the thrill of a roller coaster? The slow crawl up the tracks, the anticipation of your approaching plummet, the sound of the chinking chains as you begin to rise. You slowly raise your hands and begin to open your mouth, in preparation to scream. But just as the car gets over the peak it abruptly stops. You’re left frozen mid-air with your entire body momentum going downward. How awful would that be?
This must be how our body feels when we don’t allow it to feel and release the emotional pressure occurring within. It’s not weakness, it’s not dramatic, it’s biological. Even Jesus, arguably the strongest man to ever live cried, “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Come and see, Lord’, they replied. Jesus wept” (John 11:33-35). This verse is Jesus’ reaction to Mary when he discovered the death of her brother Lazarus. Even the son of God was overcome by emotion and at times would cry. Crying doesn’t reflect weakness or imperfection. Strength and perfection are shown and proven through character. Jesus was holy and perfect, and yet he too cried.