I'm beginning to wonder if I have some pent up emotional energy. Every Sunday, at church, I find myself getting choked up; tears form, my nose starts to run, and I concentrate on not bursting into sobs.
I haven't had a good cry in a long time. The last time I can really remember letting go was about 3 months into my current job. I made a major mistake and had no idea how it happened... Anyway, I started crying and every time I got close to being calm, someone would see my red shiny eyes, ask me what was wrong, and I would be off again.
Crying in public is not my thing. It makes me uncomfortable whether it's me or someone else in tears. Most of the time, I rather prefer to be alone when I cry because, I assume that crying makes everyone as uncomfortable as it makes me. I'm sure that's probably not true, but I can't get past it.
Only two times since my childhood have I felt comfortable crying in the presence of others.
The first: I was a sophomore in high school at a youth retreat with several friends. (The retreat was called "Moral Combat." How's that for a laugh?) We were at an evening gathering. The speaker's message about evangelism had plunged a knife into my heart. I had been a Christian for more than a year and I hadn't made any effort to share my new faith with my mother or my brother. I mourned and wept and my friends prayed for me. No one seemed put out and no one urged me to calm down or told me that it was going to be alright, they just let me mourn my sin and cry out to God until I was done.
The second: I was a junior at Houghton and had just finished my second viewing of Schindler's List. My first experience with this movie (nearly 7 years earlier) had left me relatively unmoved, but the second time I viewed it, I was struck with such despair. There was nothing I could do. These horrible things were already complete and no one could fix it. I lay in my bed and sobbed for nearly an hour. Rebecca sat next to me the entire time, not trying to comfort or calm, she was just there and that was enough.
After I have a good cry, I need a long nap, but then I'm in a better mood for days or weeks after. Perhaps some day I will be able to convince myself that it's alright to cry when the tears come since they just don't come that often. I'll learn that it's alright to be vulnerable. I'll cry and be a better person for it.