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Being Human is Hard

I remember when my daughter was a toddler.  She adapted well to taking her milk from a bottle.  Sucking seemed instinctual.  But when it came to sucking a straw, that was a whole new learning curve for her.  She just got on with it, playing with the straw in her mouth each time I gave her the cup until she got a taste of water in her mouth.  She wasn’t aware of my delight when she got it right.  I don’t think she knew what a big deal it was.  I don’t think she remembers the day she learned to drink from a straw was when she was being pushed in her stroller through a busy mall.

We have to learn to be human. To be physical, mental, emotional, and eventually spiritual beings.  And the struggle is real!

As babies, we know nothing of the body that we appear to appear in.  We have to learn to eat, to sit, to crawl and then walk, to talk, to use a toilet.  And then, just when we think we have the hang of it, we enter our teenage years.  We compare our physical abilities and appearance to those around us and we enter a period of getting to know our emotions.  Once we qualify as adults, we embark on the mental quest.  How much do we know to get a job, earn an income, and make a life for ourselves at last?  

And maybe, sometime in our thirties, we figure we have a handle on our bodies, minds, and emotions.  And still, we aren’t “there” yet. (yes, this is a simple version of my experience of life).

Blessed are those that don’t have an existential crisis.  Ignorance is Bliss.

I spent a fair time wishing I was normal.  Until I didn’t.  It took a while, and you could say I am a slow learner.  It took a lot of repetition.  Good teachers.  Supportive partners.  And a constant inner discomfort, until I realized, or rather, acknowledged that Being Human is Hard. 

I’d love to say it was a sudden realisation.  But it wasn’t and still isn’t.  It’s a journey and my human life lived is still a work in progress.  

What the acknowledgement allowed for was acceptance.  And each time I accept that human being is hard, it allows for compassionate action.  It’s a relief to let go of the struggle.  To stop fighting against what’s hard and to stop chasing what is good or easy.  It feels solid and strong in my body.  It feels open and empowering in my heart.  It’s a spaciousness in my mind that sometimes brings tears of appreciation.  And in that space, creativity has a gap to be exposed and explored.  And, it’s been here all along.

Being human is hard.  And I am not insane for seeing the insanity in the world.  Seeing what humans are doing to each other in the world and what we are doing to the earth is just bizarre!

And, I believe, we are all doing our best.  I certainly have been, even when I f”$&ed up.  Recognising that being human is hard, sometimes a few times a day opens a compassionate heart in me, for those who are struggling, both the perpetrators and the victims.  

It’s said that when we know better, we do better.  For me, it’s, when we know better – that there is no perfect way to be human, then we can be better humans.  And from being better humans, I believe only then can we do better in this world and on this earth.