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When Tears Hurt

February 2nd, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Cry if you must, men. Tears hurt when we hold them back.

This crying thing is not a woman thing; it’s a human thing. We can believe real men cry. We can believe real men don’t. What’s absolute is real men go through some heavy, heavy stuff, man. So let us not be machines here. Let us be men and if we are men who cry, I suggest some company. Tears hurt when we shed them by ourselves.

To any man who can’t remember the last time they cried, keep the streak alive as long as you can. Be blessed in the pursuit. Tears hurt when they’re unfamiliar. Take it from me, a self-admitted crier who has seen other men of the age of facial hair and being addressed as Mr. cry, the tears of grown men shock and awe. Those tears are the maps to the foreign places of a man’s heart and when we see them, we know we have never been there before and he probably hasn’t either.

Still we can’t be afraid to go where the maps say. Nor can we be too prideful to ask for directions on how to get out. Just let the tears go. Crying is not a gauge to measure one’s manhood it’s a gauge to measure the magnitude of what just happened. And if what happened moved us to tears, let us not dodge. Just let the tears go.

Men are taught not to cry, never taught how to deal with life’s greatest joys and greatest pains. Men are taught tears don’t bring people back and they don’t make people stay, just asked why even cry about it in the first place?

Well, I cry because I’m not a machine.

I’m a man.

Tears hurt when I hold them back.

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  • Leigh Ann

    Beautiful. I think of tears as a cleansing process. I wish you comfort in your time of pain.

  • Nadine

    cosign. Keep your head up Jozen!!

  • JSR

    I agree with Leigh, crying does helps you through difficult times. Nice piece, Jozen. You and the DB are in my prayers.

  • BoomShots

    “I never understood why
    I could never see a man cry
    Until I see a man die”

    I envy men who can cry because I can’t anymore. I use to be a bawler, whenever I was mad, glad or just sad. There would be the feeling then came the tears. But I had to learn to reign my emotions in because while it was allowable as a child to be emotionally unrestrained as young man my reactions and tempering them could be life altering. Do I miss crying, sometimes I do afterall I still experience the emotions I have just had to alter how I expressed them.

    To some people I am too easily hard, other think I am too controlled or repressed or stoic but what I do understand is that we are all conditioned by our environment and while tears can be the “shower for our souls” sometime no tears speaks just as loudly. I probably have not shed a tear in over 20 years, don’t know what if any toll its taken on the quality of my life but crying, an expression which came quite easily to me as a child is no longer as accesible as an adult.

  • Danielle D

    GOOD! Love it!

  • Osyrys


  • Netreia

    I wish I had something elaborate or extensive say, but all I got is ‘I completely agree’.

  • babeblue


  • Teach It

    “I envy men who can cry because I can’t anymore.”

    Awww, Boom. You just need the right shoulder and feeling of security. I wouldn’t expect a guy to cry over every thing, but sometimes it’s warranted- death of a loved one, child being born, spiritual realization, or your favorite team winning or losing the big game. It’s okay….cry. Here’s a tissue. 🙂

  • Cheekie

    This was beautiful. Especially this:

    “Well, I cry because I’m not a machine.

    I’m a man.”

    Word. I’ll never understand how society decided crying was for the weak. Crying in front of someone takes vulnerability. And showing vulnerability takes strength.

  • BoomShots

    @Teach it, you may be right, i still get choked up, the feelings are still there but no tears. I don’t think i miss it because I am doing pretty well emotionally.
    Truth be told I have seen too much to cry about and the scales of life can never really be evened out with tears.

  • udee

    Once upon a time, I dated a guy who claimed he never cried. He saw crying as a sign of weakness and unnecessary fragility; essentially, strong people do not cry. His heritage bespoke of one where men are taught never to cry from childhood.

    I appreciate your words, Jozen – your honesty is touching and your writing inspiring. Strength will find you, even when your body resists and your heart cannot hold you up. Right then. That is where strength finds you.

  • booboonotthefool

    Let me start by saying I’m so sorry for your loss! Death is never easy, and it’s a even bigger cross to bear when it comes suddenly. We are never quite ready for it. I pray that you, your friends, and your families find peace and come to terms with this loss.

    You speak the strength and the vulnerability of men all at once…

    I agree with you, the tears that don’t fall hurt so much more than the ones that do. Don’t hold back.

  • samara

    My heart goes out to you Jozen.

  • superwoman

    my heartfelt condolences. do cry it out, holding it in only makes it hurt more.

  • Ondrea

    I have a friend who recently said to me, “If I were a weak man, I would have cried”. I couldn’t understand how he associatied crying with weakness/lack of strength. I agree with you Jozen, you are not a machine you are human and humans cry. God gave tears to both men and women for a reason.

  • virtue5


  • Alisha

    Tears are so necessary. I saw my Daddy cry for the first time at my uncle’s funeral. It was a life-changing moment for me. Even though I knew he wasn’t a machine, I knew at that moment that he could FEEL. My prayers are still with you and your friend’s family.

  • Paige

    It still startles me to see a man cry, but it never makes him less of a man in my eyes. Just a man who needs to be held.

  • Missy

    Just wanted to note that not all women find it easy to cry either. I know I don’t. Over the years I learn to internalize a lot of feelings and I’m just learning how to cry again and allow myself to grieve.

  • Bam

    Excellent point.