Real men … do cry.

I grew up out in the high plains near the Colorado border.  That’s out where real men don’t cry and everyone is “just fine.”  If a little boy did cry, he might hear, “You dry those tears up, buddy, or I’ll give you something to cry about.”

So, you didn’t cry!  I grew up with well-meaning parents and in a good church, but they were just wrong about that.

Because, of course, real men do cry.  Crying is so good for the soul.  Frankly, it’s a sign of strength, not weakness.

I regularly have lunch with a good friend — a male friend — who cries almost every time we meet.  He tells me this or that and gets all choked up.  This guy is a man’s man.  When he gets choked up, I usually get choked up, too. 

And you know, it feels very healthy.

I came across a note this morning that my wife Jennifer wrote me several years ago after I told her I had been all weepy about a conflict in which I was enmeshed and feeling pretty beaten up…

“A good cry engages conflict.  The crier doesn’t win, but he meets defeat straight on in total surrender.  He is totally present to all of the rottenness, not running from it.  Engaging in conflict doesn’t mean you’ll always win, but that you won’t run.  You’ll be good at it because you are good at love.” 

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