Many, many years ago I was sitting in my therapist’s office, lambasting myself for some reaction or impulse. “You’re only human,” my therapist said to me. “It’s very human – very normal – to react that way.”
I felt myself writhe with disgust. If that was human, I hated being human. I was certain that I should not have had that impulse…and that I therefore should not be human. Not if that’s what being human entailed.
Perhaps it was my religious – fanatically religious – upbringing that taught me to strive for “better than human.” Perhaps I was attempting to compensate for my (self) perceived sinful ways and worthlessness. Perhaps I was losing myself in my need to control….again. Even – or especially – the things I couldn’t control.
Who knows, and who cares. What I do know is that as soon as my therapist pointed out my humanness, I was submerged with my need to not be human. I hated being human.
I’m not happy to admit that not as many years ago I was sitting in a different therapist’s office, and she also pointed out the humanness of something I’d done. Of me in fact. And again I knew I had to immediately overcome, eradicate, and expunge this weakness. The weakness of my humanness.
However, I am happy to admit that that was still a few years ago, and since then I’ve learned to embrace my humanness. To happily and unabashedly accept my humanness. To join the rest of you in it and feel the relief of not having to be superhuman anymore. It is a relief.
I guess it doesn’t matter how we learn these silly things we learn. How we interpret the world and the things people say to us and around us, and use these interpretations to cage ourselves. What matters is that we find a way to step away from the self-defeating lies we’ve learned as truths, and step towards truths that are more accepting, gentle, and loving…and true.
Along my path I’ve found people to love me when I couldn’t love myself, and more importantly I’ve learned to love myself. I’ve learned to call out the lies in my head (and my life). I’ve learned to laugh at myself and with myself. I’ve learned to say nice things to myself (like “you’re spectacular”) and to soothe myself when I’m afraid. Or when I could really just use a hug.
I’ve learned to be human – and to like being human.
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