I’ve always been a bit of an emotional person. In the past I’ve been kind of shameful about how emotional I can be… all the days I left high school in tears, waiting to be comforted by my parents. As if I didn’t have enough social problems, I let myself look vulnerable by doing the least manly thing possible in front of my peers: shed a tear (or many).
Last night reminded me of this. After having a good appointment with my therapist yesterday morning, I was left emotionally vulnerable. As a result, comments from someone at work and then someone at dinner set me off and put me into tears. Neither of those people meant their words in a malicious way, but with my emotional state at the time, I was susceptible to hurt.
In talking to my anonymous pal that has been commenting on my blog (well, he’s not anonymous to me anymore), we’ll call him “Alex”, he mentioned to me a scripture study project he’d done in which he read through the four Gospels and outlined what a real man is like, based on the actions and reactions of the perfect man, Jesus Christ. To not much surprise, not much (if anything) that he recorded from this study coincided with what the world believes a man is.
In reference to the day I’d had, Alex mentioned John 11:35. A quick bit of background on the scripture: Lazarus, a close friend of the Savior, had died. Though I think He knew He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, I’m sure His heart broke because those He loved (Mary and Martha) were heartbroken about their brother’s death. Even though Martha had expressed faith in the Plan of Salvation (particularly the resurrection—verse 24), it was painful for her to think that she would never see, speak to, or hug her brother again in this life.
The Savior was able to cry and weep. And He is the perfect “manly” man. Why shouldn’t I be able to? Yes, I need to keep tabs on my emotions and not be crying all the time. But there is nothing wrong with needing to weep and cry it out when I have a bad day.
After the whole crying episode happened last night, my roommate Alejandro said to me, kind of jokingly to cheer me up, “Boys don’t cry.” My reply to him was simple, “Men do.”