Springboard Blog

Springboard Blog

It is Okay to Cry and It is Okay to Feel Afraid By Josh Pogonitz

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Often in society, there is a stigma surrounding crying and feeling fear as they are emotions associated with weaknesses. If a male cries, in particular, he may be seen as weak, soft, and not “tough.” Other times, in a comforting way, someone may tell someone else not to cry and that everything is going to be okay.  

In my opinion, crying is a sign of strength. It means you are releasing and embracing your emotions, as well as living healthily. It means that we are willing to deal and cope with our emotions instead of shoving them away. G-d gave us this natural ability to cry for a reason. Throughout my journey of mental health, I have learned that if we do not cry while thinking lowly and shamefully of ourselves, eventually we will emotionally explode, like a shaken-up soda bottle.  

One of my favorite quotes related to this topic is as follows: “A strong person is not the one who doesn’t cry. A strong person is one who is quiet, and sheds tears for a moment, and then picks up her/his swords and fights again”. In other words, having strength includes practicing that it is okay to have a setback and that it is okay to cry.  

A Strong Person

As stated before, the emotion of fear is also often viewed as a weakness. Many people may say to be fearless. But, how can we control whether or not we feel afraid and what is so wrong with feeling that way? Another favorite motivational quote of mine is “You do not have to be fearless. Doing it afraid is just as brave.”  

Act with Bravery

While at the residential program I attended, I thought of an interesting idea: A lot of people say to approach difficulty in life without fear and instead with bravery and courage. I disagree with this, for one could only act with bravery and courage if there is fear in mind. So, if it is so wrong to feel afraid, then how can we live with bravery and courage?  

Lastly, I have learned about the concept relating to the word “should.” It can be super helpful to not place this word on ourselves. Below are two examples of how it is not helpful use the word upon us and our feelings from the past or in the present moment: 

I “should not” cry or be feeling this way.  

I “should have” just done ____ instead of doing ___.  

It can be very difficult to not use the word “should.” It takes practice. From my personal experiences, when I catch myself using this word and then reframe the thought by saying it in another way, I feel this sense of freedom. It is one way that I am not allowing my demons of mental illnesses overcome me.  

So, if someone tells you or you tell yourself to stop crying and feeling afraid, tell them or yourself, “No. I am going to allow myself to feel what I am feeling and that is okay!” 

I hope that at least even just a little part of this post resonates with any of you readers and that it can help you in any way. Sending my love to you all! Peace out!  

#selflove#fightthestigma #fighter #warrior #selfvalidation #yougotthis #wegotthis#youarenotalone