Today I had some bicycle time, and unfortunately for me, bicycle time gives me enough silence to consider the topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately: being human is the pits.
Being human means that I sometimes yell in my car and pretend to maliciously memorize license numbers to give to the cops when people cut me off. Being human means that I realize two days afterward that that’s not very Christlike. Being human means that I spill food on my shirt and in my hair 80% of the time that I eat. It means that I struggle to sound eloquent when I speak. It means that I’m self-conscious of my singing voice and still getting the courage to sing karaoke one day. It means that I open my high school yearbook and shudder, because I was a real toad in high school. Being human means that I miss relationships that I shouldn’t, and that I feel painfully idiotic because I miss them so much. Being human means that I get to do a whole lot of stupid things in life and struggle to forgive myself. Being human means that I sometimes find myself in tears, and I don’t even know what I’m crying for.
Being human means I have to hurt, and I have to feel. Sometimes I don’t like that.
Lately I’ve been getting down and out about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats in the world. Most often, though, I’ve been getting down and out about how hard it is for me to move forward.
The artist F. Scott Fitzgerald said it most eloquently:
“So we beat on, boats against the current. Borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Right now, I feel like a little boat. I’m tossed to and fro on waves of history, waves of anger, waves of hurt, and waves of disappointment that have come rushing suddenly from the rocks I thought they’d long ago disappeared against. A lot of that anger and hurt is self-inflicted.
The hardest part about being human, I’ve found, is the challenge of forgiving ourselves for all of our imperfections, seeing ourselves as people who can be better instead of people who always seem to mess things up. It’s hard to return to the corners of our lives and discover a lot of dust and cobwebs that still linger there, even when we thought we’d gotten rid of them all. I’ve been doing that a lot lately.
More often than not, being human has left me feeling vulnerable and delicate, and it’s pushed me to my knees and into asking Heavenly Father why He made me so weak. But it is that delicacy and vulnerability and weakness that allow me to become better.
Being vulnerable means that I can feel another’s pain and truly mourn with them. Being vulnerable means that I have room to grow. It means that I can relate, that I can be myself, that I can care in a world that champions apathy. It means that I can log onto my blog today and feel discouraged enough to bare my soul to you in this random, fragmented post because I need connection and need to see the scripted evidence that I can get through struggles, that I can forgive myself. That I want to.
Being human is worst best thing ever. And even though it might hurt today, it will be a blessing tomorrow.
Because even when it limits, it’s capable of liberating.