My journey has been a powerful journey for myself and has revolved around healing myself from the inside out. Not just with the physical issues I have faced with my body, but with the emotional healing of the mind and spirit.
That was the healing I was not expecting but was the healing I truly needed. Being a male we are told from an early age, that “boys don’t cry.” That we have to be men. And act like men. We have to be tough. This is what society dictates of us men. We have to be rough, rugged, and tough. On the inside, and it’s not OK to have feelings. If you do, just suppress them, and ignore them. As an adult if you tell a kid something he’s going to believe you. So as a kid we are always trying so hard to grow up so fast. We want to be adults. We want to stay up late. We want to do the adult things, whatever they are, we want to do them. So we stop enjoying the things about life that kids enjoy. Do the things kids do and love. If I could have fully understood that being an adult meant getting a job, and paying bills, I would have stayed a kid forever.
So as a kid you do what you are told. Whether it’s completely good for you or not. You’re innocent and you think they know what’s best for you. After all they are adults and they make all the rules. But what happens when you tell them, boys don’t cry? Or they need to be tough? You start to shut down. You start to stop feelings. You start to not confront the things that are happening to you. You no longer process and you just start to go through the motions void of emotion. Which I feel is a big part of anxiety running our lives. Things happen to us that we can’t fully process before we start to run away. That external stimuli, whatever it is, is too scary for us, so we flee to our safety zones.
I remember being a child, I couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11, being in bed one night being sad over something, and telling myself, boys don’t cry.” From that moment on, I never really cried anymore over anything. Even when my mom passed at 21, from cancer, I didn’t cry at it. Nor did I cry when other family members passed away. Growing up I was always a sensitive person, being an empath. I could always feel the emotions of people. Even if I was just watching them on TV, or in a movie. I would get sad when they would be sad, and I would always catch myself and talk myself out of crying. Because it’s embarrassing, and what if other people see me cry. What if other guys would see my cry. I’m sure that would have been a violation of the “guys code.” So I would suppress and keep it in. For as long as I could. (Sensitive guys can have it rough in life.)
Then when I started my healing journey, I had to take down those walls. I had to cut through the crap I had learned, and told myself over the years. I had to learn, the hard way, everything I thought I knew, may not have been good or “truth” to myself and my journey. That I had to let go of much of what I thought I knew was good and allow in so much more. I learned that it was OK to feel. It was OK to cry as a male. I’ve learned it’s OK to be sad. It’s OK to grieve. It’s very cathartic and healing to do so. We’ve lived in such a male dominated society for so long, that we have to be “macho” all the time. Now it’s time to be gentle if we need to be. We don’t need to just be so aggressive and hard. We can be so much more.
It has been an eye opening journey to feeling and allowing myself to feel. For a guy to be vulnerable is a tough thing to do. Yet it’s something that we sometimes need. Healing can really start to occur when we confront our emotions and allow ourselves to experience and express our emotions. At times this journey has felt like living life for the first time. Where I am just learning how to stand up on my own. Then learn how to crawl, and one day learn how to walk.
There is so much within me that I have held onto, guarded like I was a bank hoarding all the treasures of the world. Now it is all slowly starting to change. Slowly starting to come out. And it feels good to be open. It feels good to let that part of myself go. To embrace myself fully. To be who I choose to be and not who I think I must be. And I am enjoying every moment of it. I’m happier and more free than I have ever been in my life.
This past weekend I watched the movie, My Girl. And boy did it hit me right in the feels. For the first time, I allowed myself to feel those emotions. To confront them and embrace them. Allowing myself to be sad, and cry. And boy did I cry. I am not ashamed or embarrassed to do so or say that. It was freeing. That movie was really heartbreaking. And finally after so long of holding it all in my emotions to really let go and let it all out. There is so much in there that needs to be released and I am now in the process of doing so. Now real healing can truly transpire within myself and it’s been a long time coming.