The other day I was giving a talk to my team and I started to cry, overwhelmed by the dedication I had just witnessed.
As the tears began to drop, I almost found myself apologising.
And then I asked myself: Why am I apologising for feeling what I feel so strongly that it comes out in tears?
Why do we apologise for crying?
We don’t apologise for laughing.
We don’t apologise for dancing.
In fact we even hardly apologise for getting angry.
But tears, even when it’s for overwhelmingly emotional happenings? We quickly start to apologise, clean the tears, or hide them away.
Because we have been taught that tears signify weakness, and we want to show how strong we are. Or we have been traumatised by those who called our tears ‘drama’, ‘showing off’, ‘insincere’. We’ve been told the way to do tears is with ‘restraint’; so that others can be comfortable, and respect us.
I didn’t apologise for those tears. I let them flow. I let them be seen. I let them see the truth and depth of how I felt.
I made a promise to myself on that day never to apologise for crying. Never to apologise for feeling what I feel in the moment that I feel them, for myself.
If anyone can’t handle beautiful emotions like tears or laughter, that’s on them.