Unleashing Emotion: How Embracing Vulnerability Can Drive Personal Growth and Foster Deeper Connections


I spent the first half of my adult life resisting the urge to cry, likely because I bought into societal messages regarding masculinity. I often found myself moved by certain circumstances or topics, but my emotions would get lodged somewhere between my chest and throat.

Later in life, I discovered that the things that moved me to tears were a gift — messengers that offered insight to a deeper understanding of myself and my connection to the world around me — worthy of full attention and expression. I became curious and began to notice a common theme:

  • Deep soulful connections.
  • Individuals realizing their unearthed potential.
  • People breaking through challenging circumstances or systems designed to hold them back.

I find meaningful movies often offer opportunities for self-discovery. Recently, Cherie and I watched CODA (an acronym for Child of Deaf Adult), the story of Ruby, a young girl who is the only hearing person in her family and is accustomed to spending her days serving as the family’s interpreter. Following in the steps of a boy for whom she has a secret crush, Ruby joins her high school choir and discovers her gift and passion for singing.

Her music teacher, Mr. B., affirms her raw talent and encourages Ruby to pursue her passion further. To do so, she has to confront complex, codependent family dynamics and make heart-wrenching decisions. During a scene where Ruby breaks through communication barriers and uses her ‘voice’ to stand up for herself, move decisively away from all that was familiar and toward the desires of her heart, I cried harder than I had in a long time.

As I look back on times in my life when following my heart required tough choices, I am grateful for the Mr. B’s — the affirmers and encouragers, those who invested in helping me use my voice and live into the potential I didn’t see in myself.

So often, we become so caught up in the logistics of our work that we lose touch with the very heart of the mission itself — and that often shows in our messaging.

Maybe you feel it’s time to be reacquainted with what moves you to tears — the themes worthy of your organization’s full attention and expression.

At Liminal Creative, we’re committed to partnering with you to connect you with the words and visuals that will effectively communicate your mission so your organization can reach its fullest potential.

Give us a call. We’d love to hear about what moves you to tears.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ― Howard Thurman

Bill Cummings

Bill is a seasoned nonprofit founder, leader, marketer, fundraiser, and storyteller. He is the founder and former executive director of Lemonade International and has served in leadership positions with Zoe Empowers and Restore NYC. He works with clients on organizational strategy, branding, fundraising, and communications.