I cry easily. I cry through Lifetime movies, at commercials, at acceptance speeches, when a child says something to show they appreciate their parents, when people fall in love Hollywood-movie style ( I cry just thinking about a movie with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan).
Those are tears of joy. Usually. So what makes me cry? Like really cry. Like a tear-soaked-pillow crying session, without the promise of a little smile at the end?
You might remember that I’m doing John Maxwell’s 30 day Intentional Living course (click here to try it free for a week yourself) and yesterday’s assignment was to list 5 things that make me cry. For someone who has cried at least a few times already today (watching the touching lifestories of runners doing the NYC marathon), I’m having a hard time with the assignment. Is that because I don’t want to go deep enough to think about things that make me sad? Perhaps. Is it because I don’t like to think about things that make me feel helpless? More likely. But if I don’t think about them, I can’t act on them. So there’s that to motivate this list.
- I cry when I miss my mom and dad and brother. I grew up as part of a very close family. And then one day I felt like I was a grown up and I moved to New York without them. And life hasn’t been the same since. I cry because I wish sometimes I had just stayed and never known what it is to miss my family so much.
- I cry when I feel unfulfilled – that I haven’t done enough with my opportunities, haven’t made the most of my gifts, wasted too much time procrastinating, putting off for tomorrow what I didn’t feel like doing today.
- I cry when someone says something unkind to me because I blame myself for being the kind of person that inspires mean and ugly from someone, instead of ignite love in them. One day last week, a lady criticized me personally and when I read her words, I cried – not because of what she wrote but because I knew her assessment of me was right and that I had failed to do my best. It wasn’t her fault for noticing; I was to blame for doing it. I can stand critique as well as the next guy but I can’t help being reminded that I should be better and then I can’t hold back the tears.
- I cry when someone is hurt and I can’t help them.
- I cry when I feel like I’m lost and stuck and don’t know how to get un-lost or un-stuck. Thank God, that’s not often because I usually have a plan to move from my place of being lost, even if that plan takes me deeper in the woods.
Those are 5 moments that generate tears of sadness, which in turn motivates me to write poetry. Some of those “sad-time” poems have been quite good if I might say so myself so my tears are not necessarily curses; in fact, they have been the markers that I am at a vulnerable place and can tap into a Greater Strength.
What makes you cry?
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