This is a phrase I had heard on the Good Life Project podcast and I immediately went to write it down. To “honor your own humanity” is to truly embrace the messiness, the darkness, and the resistance of the human experience. I come from a perfectionist background and for years, I had done so much in order to avoid my own discomfort and fears. In my mind, I was not allowed to feel anger or jealousy, or have vulnerabilities. As a result, I stuffed it down deep through food, negative thoughts, school, and socializing. I wasn’t allowed to feel the “negative” emotions. I wasn’t allowed to complain. I wasn’t allowed to cry in front of people. I wasn’t allowed to make mistakes. But being this way, cut me off from my own humanity and starved me of genuine connections with other people. I never allowed myself to get this way, and whenever people showed their vulnerabilities to me I would judge them. As a result, I was cold, distant, and isolated. You can imagine how much fun it was to be that way, I’m sure.
But there came a point in my life where I was so starved, so alone, and so isolated, that I took a look around me and saw no one I could truly feel close with. I found no one to confide in when I needed it. And I somehow knew deep down inside that it was me who had caused this. I couldn’t accept who I was inside, and therefore, had no capacity to accept others as they were.
I’ve slowly learned to let go of this image of perfection and stoicism, and truly bask in all that I am, the “good” and the “bad”. It’s amazing to see all those successful people out there share their stories of struggling with their own shadows. And in seeing that, I learned that I can accept myself. And that I have the capacity to accept the people around me, just as they are, with their flaws and quirks. I still struggle and beat myself up about my own weaknesses sometimes, which is a work in progress. But it’s amazing to see how much compassion can soothe all the cuts and burns you can give yourself sometimes. And it works the same way when holding up this same compassion for other people. When you finally let yourself be human, you’re also allowing the people around you to be human, too. And suddenly, the expectations and pressures we put on our loved ones disappear and you’re able to accept them as they are right now. You free them to be who they are. And I believe that is one of the best gifts of all.
Kisses & Meows,