The Messiness of Being Human
I came to the conclusion that I don’t want to chase the perfect version of me, do everything right, or have an ideal life. I don’t want to be and look good, happy and joyful all the time, do everything to please people around me, talk about happiness as if it was the only thing there is. I am tired of the endless search for peace of mind, and all the stuff that goes with it.
I just want to be me, with all the contradictions, the humanness, the messiness, and the wisdom. Both strong and vulnerable. Sometimes awake, wise, at peace, and sometimes not at all. Surprisingly clear, brave, smart, and every now and again, chaotic, emotional, hesitant, indecisive.
Accepting myself with all my human sides, the beautiful and the uncomfortable ones, was not always easy. Accepting the sometimes inherent contradiction of being human was a process, and a learning.
Learning to be ok with being ok, but also with not being ok. Ok, with succeeding and with making mistakes; with being spot on in some situations, and with not getting it right in others; being ok with being loved by some people and ignored by others; being at peace with myself, and struggling also sometimes. Ok, with the fear, the crying and the messiness of the human experience. With the frustration that comes when my mind makes up that it is not good to feel bad.
Accepting to be unashamedly human.
A very big thing I have learnt about life is that I will be ok no matter what, and that I have enough natural resilience and innate well-being to deal with any situation. Nothing can damage the essence of who I am.
I didn’t know that before.
I used to think that the mental scratches that life can give us to experience at times had the ability to break us. I have learned that it´s not the case.
Life does not always feel ok. It even sometimes feels like the opposite, horrible, and not like I have got innate resilience.
But it doesn´t matter any more, because now I know it is a feeling, and it says nothing about me or anybody, nothing about life in general. It’s not a prediction about the future, no prophecy, no curse, no reason to feel ashamed. And even that (feeling ashamed) is all right, because it changes nothing about our essence.
The exciting thing about being ok with the messiness of the human experience is that life becomes naturally more fluid, more colourful, more authentic, and, yes, somehow lighter. No need to fake happiness when it is not what’s in the program.
Unpleasant experiences come and go now. They don’t stick with me like glue, for years or decades in my soul and body, like they used to. They don’t make me stop myself from doing what occurs to me to do, out of fear of what I might feel afterwards if things don’t go my way. They don’t stop me from laughing, feeling alive and smiling. They are just part of a life journey.
I know, with absolute certainty, that being well, light, wise and happy is our nature, our default setting, the place we come back to naturally when we have finished experiencing the darkness and pain.
It made a massive difference in my life to see that, that they are an experience, and not who I am.
Knowing that everything will be all right eventually, no matter how I feel in the moment is huge. Seeing that I have natural resilience and mental health, that my well-being is part of me and can never be broken or taken away from me, were massive insights!
Knowing all that is an incredible source of trust in life and a natural confidence booster. It guides me in my life when it gets shaky, and it drives my work with my clients.
I see the light, the health and the hope behind their experiences, even when they don’t always see it themselves. I see them.
In our true essence we are all made of the same stuff. Humanness and wisdom.
“If the only thing people knew, was not to be afraid of their own experience. That alone would change the world.” Sydney Banks
But there is another priceless benefit in knowing that behind the experience of life, we are ok no matter what:
Any time and wherever it makes sense, we can take a moment to look at the content of our painful thoughts without being scared of them, without wanting to suppress them or push them away from us.
We can approach them with kindness and wonder. Look at them with love and understanding. An understanding of what life is giving us to learn.
An understanding for the triggers and mental loops that we all have. For the misunderstandings. For the unconscious and unhealthy thought patterns that we might have nourished over the years unknowingly. The thoughts that are waiting for us to see them to let them go. For the pain that might have accumulated and built up around a mountain of thoughts. Thoughts we have ignored way too long, and are maybe acknowledging now for the very first time. An understanding for our mental innocence.
Knowing that I am foundamentally ok no matter what gives me a chance to approach darkness without fear, and to take care of the parts of me that are still calling for attention, readjustment, and love. Self-love.
It is a beautiful door that opens the way to self-care, forgiveness, and healing. Isn’t it amazing that we can do that?
The sometimes messiness of being human is touching and humbling; but I wouldn´t want to miss it, even if, at times, I wish I did.
-“Explore your pain because that’s where your purpose lies,” a teacher recently said to me. “Meet what you mirror. Go inside, rummage about, get clear, and get centered. Then move out and make our world better.” Maria Schiver-
Drissia Schroeder-Hohenwarth is a Psychologist and a Transformative Coach for Leaders, Teams, and Organisations with a fascination for the endless potential of the mind.