Today I cried and, though it’s always humbling, particularly when witnessed by another, I couldn’t help but be so grateful.

There’s a way that the tears seemed to accept all that is. Instead of trying to hold myself together, there is a sort of surrender that is inevitable when the tears start to flow. There’s an acceptance that things are outside of my control and yet, somehow everything was a little bit more ok because I could cry about it.

I know that I differ from some people on this, but I don’t tend to get upset or frustrated when I see a baby or small child cry. I actually have a lot of respect for their cry and even rejoice a bit for their ability to express themselves so thoroughly in that way.

This is of course only applies to situations when I know the baby/child’s needs are being met and a caring adult is present to offer them love and support. This year, our hearts have all been broken again and again by the knowledge that they are children––way too many, in our country––who are crying because their needs aren’t being met and because they’ve been forcibly taken away from their caring adults. This is not about those tears, even though those tears are so important.

But for those babies and children who are crying because this humaning thing can be totally overwhelming sometimes, I say thank you dear little ones for offering us the fullness of your expression. Thank you for reminding us that, the more we feel, and the more we express, the more we can release, move through, and move on.

I say, I don’t mind when you’re upset. I think you’re tears are beautiful and you’re just as great when you’re upset as when you’re happy.

The smallest amongst us remind us to ask ourselves, when the tears start to fall, are our basic needs being met? Am I hungry, tired, sick? Do we need to reach out to someone who can offer someone love and support? Or do we just need to cry it out?

I don’t cry as often as might feel good for me and I typically don’t cry at the moments that seem most appropriate, like when something really sad just happened or I’m attending a funeral. My tears are too unruly for that.

But, even if there is a part of me that is slightly surprised or slightly embarrassed, I am almost always glad that I cried.

Crying is the first thing that almost all of us do the moment we’re born. It’s a precious part of being human.

The people who I am comfortable enough to cry around are precious to me. I’m so grateful for you. And for those if you, from little ones to big ones, who are comfortable enough to cry around me, thank you. You are so beautiful.

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