Be Very Human

839. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Being human is messy. We are a mass of contradictions. We say one thing and mean another. We hold others to standards that we do not ourselves hold. We change our minds. We often hear but rarely listen. We misunderstand, miscommunicate, mistake, and simply miss. We judge and run and hide and then pretend that we have courage and conviction. Sometimes we do. Mostly we have courage when we don’t try to have it; courage usually feels like terror. Conviction shows up when there is a distinct absence of dogma.

And we learn. We try again. And again. We gaze at the next hill and wonder what is beyond it. We get back up after being knocked to the ground. We are eternally hopeful even if we do not see it. We reach. We take another step. We desire to get better, be better. We want to know. We read self help books and aspire to create a better world. We want fulfillment and peace.

Recently I watched an irate woman frost a birthday cake. I thought the cake looked fine but she was fuming with herself, thinking she should have done better. When I asked why she was so upset she cried, “Because it matters!” It is the little things that matter. It is the small stuff that rings our humanity.

Another day and I wade through the muck. In the mire I had a conversation that upset me. She saw me retreat and said, “Come back out again.”

I said, “No!” and pouted like a five year old refusing to eat broccoli. I shook my head to emphasize my resolve.

She said, “Please. Please come out.” I looked up and realized that she was not trying to hurt me and that I was being silly. I stepped out from behind my steely resolve. No one wants to be in a shell. We reach toward each other even when it looks like refusal.

We humans are optimistic. We tip toward love even in the midst of the murkiest moments. Lurking beneath the phrase, “I don’t know how I am going to get through it,” is the faith that transformation is not only possible but it is imminent. We get through it every time and we never know how. We understand how only after we have done it. The stuff of life is in forging the path through it. And then we are changed; we are better for the slog.

“Step into the love. Move toward it.” I said. She was hurting. When she scowled I added, “It is all that I know how to do.”

She said, “That sounds like a phrase from Saint Michael! It’s not very human.”

In fact, it is the very thing that makes us human. To step the other way is a path to nowhere. And I know in her despair that she said one thing and meant another. We are both humans. We are messy. Transformation is imminent.

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