Washington Irving writes: “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” 

I shared this quote with some of my friends and followers and received some interesting responses I would term resistance. There were two responses (both from women) that spring to mind. They said that I must be happy and strong and count my blessings, and work towards my goals. They didn’t say it specifically, yet it was clear from the context that feeling one’s feelings was not something they supported, particularly not tears and particularly not as a man. Men should be strong.

As a man, I felt an energy of suppression and it brought up feelings of shame. I recall as a 5-year old being teased and bullied about my tears, and making an oath that I would never cry again. Until I was much older, I managed to keep this austere exterior in tact. Yet it is a lie. At best a facade. And I don’t want to lie or endorse the idea that men shouldn’t cry. Quite frankly, I find it abhorrent and a rejection I feel with every fibre of my being.

Men are feeling beings. If men are ashamed to feel, to express emotions including tears, it’s a suppression of all we have been fighting for as a collective. And we will continue to lose as a society.

Sometimes the most appropriate thing to do is to burst – and release feelings. Emotions need to move. They ask of us not for judgement or repression, yet for embrace, acceptance and release.

The temperate and unpredictable nature of emotions scares people as feelings cannot be controlled.

And an uncontrolled man, can be a scary beast. I understand that. I’ve been the recipient of male rage too many times to remember.

Using breath, movement and sound, we can move through strong feeling-responses to enliven and animate our beings and to release the water of emotion, so they don’t need to stay with us too longer, or linger.

As a human being, I was born to feel. It is my right. I don’t need to defend that right…surely?

I am okay with embracing my nature, even if that includes tears. Are you okay with that? Are you okay as a man or woman to accept men who show emotions?

“With every exhale, soften the heart.” – MC Yogi

Are you ready to embrace all that it means to be a human being?

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