Chick-flicks, sobby Facebook post, inspiring videos and other emotionally packaged messages can often wage war on our emotional conscience as human beings. As a woman I imagine there is pleasure gained from the emotional connection established in these moments, but as a man it seems there is an internal conflict to answer to during the emotional solicitation; that is, “to cry or not to cry” (that is the solicitation). Get it? 🙂

I know it is not the manliest thing to say, and some men might even disagree with me to some extent, but when I titled this post I meant what I said and said what I meant, “it is OK to cry, and sometimes you really should.”

I was reminded of this today as I watched and reflected on the moving story and words of Jessica Lynn (video here) and her journey from heartache to hope with her children. Without any pictures, but by just reading her words I felt my heart being solicited to feel her family’s experience. I admit, with an empty house there was a sense of freedom to do this, but the conflict was still present.


As I gave in to the emotional tugging, I also felt the freedom of release; grasping the same hope that they found during that trial. Although many are blessed to not go through the pain they went through just to have a child (#PraiseGod!), every person experiences different seasons of great trial, sometimes unexplainable seasons. I’ve found that the more I can empathize (even outside of the actual experience), the more I am prepared for the seasons that come my way.

“The more I can empathize, the more I am prepared for the seasons that come my way”

I have this saying, “In many ways you are unique! And in many ways you are no different than anyone else.” Meaning that we are all uniquely created and loved by God, yet we are all created in His image and for His purposes, yet for some reason this thing we call “life” is something we all share in.

I think it is important to remember this because in our individuality we are all still united. Your experiences are important to my experiences, and from that perspective I reserve no judgment towards you for how you have handled your experiences. Within the same exchange, I can benefit from the experiences of others, but only to the degree in which I allow myself to be changed by them. So with that breath I claim that when reflecting on the reality of someone else’s situation, it is ok to cry or laugh or [insert necessary emotion/emoticon] in order to feel and experience their situation. It is during a period of reflection even from our own experience that new lessons are learned and our hearts are changed, by which we are forever changed.

” I can benefit from the experiences of others, but only to the degree in which I allow myself to be changed by them”

Therefore, live an abundant life, not just for yourself and what you have to gain, but for others; investing in relationships that last more than a lifetime. Learn from mistakes, find strength for another day, discover real truth, allow yourself to be impacted by people around you and in return impact them. An abundant life is lived in the deep end. Shallow experiences are lived only on the surface, but the deep moments reach the heart, and from the heart is joy and pain, a well of tears for both. So its OK to lower the rope and be refreshed by the well from within, and “sometimes you really should.”