“She has so many problems”
Words uttered after I laid myself bare over and over and over in my articles.
I laid my cards down one by one. No jokers in that deck.
It’s the only way I know how to be human, but I forget some people are terrified of their own humanity, so how could they understand mine?
That’s what I’m trying to break here.
This idea that you can’t present yourself as whole. Wholly beautiful. Wholly fucked up.
Balancing the two forever.
I want to break this idea that you can’t make mistakes, that you can’t struggle.
That you can’t flail. Your imperfections as visible as a black eye.
What is it that separates the ones that are living fully, and the ones that deny their humanity?
In the shadows? Denial.
Up front? Vulnerability.
Let me explain:
When you deny your humanity, you deny it in others too.
“The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.”–Mark Mason
Being human is a friggin’ struggle. There are so many lessons, every day.
One day I’m laughing and celebrating my own brilliance.
The next day I’m shuddering at the ideas I came up with. Are you mad?!
Over and over it goes.
I can attest that your life starts to change the moment you start embracing your own brand of screw-up. The moment you cradle yourself in your mind, and love every piece you used to hate.
That is the life-changer.
You begin to understand that we’re all still learning, and we’re all just trying to do our best with what we have.
Some of us have a deep understanding of our humanity. Some of us will deny it forever.
Life, summarized in two sentences.
This is why I’m writing, to show you my human, so maybe you can start recognizing your human too.
If you’re denying your humanity in the shadows, you’ll have a damn hard time connecting with others. Because their humanity will intimidate and horrify you.
Brene Brown has talked at length about the rhetoric of our present day. Regardless of what political party you side with, you will find people on both sides dehumanizing the other.
We dehumanize people when we call them names. We dehumanize people when we believe they are stupid, lazy or not like the ‘rest of us’ in some way.
But when we dehumanize other people, we always end up dehumanizing ourselves.
It always comes back to my previous point: when we deny our humanity (aka: our own problems), we deny it in others too.
And when we play this game, we are always the losers, because we end up more disconnected to the people around us.
What happens if they find out I’m imperfect too? And so we go on, disconnecting from other people because we aren’t willing to accept that we’re not perfect.
So how we do get out of this cycle?
I challenge you to pinpoint the one thing you’ve struggled with your whole life, the one thing that you loathe about yourself.
Then, I challenge you to love it, every single day. Imagine yourself embracing the parts of yourself you are most embarrassed by, giving that part of yourself love.
For me? My thick-thighs. I have believed that if I got fat and had cellulite, I would not be worthy of love. Like I have no value aside from my physical appearance.
Because of this, my life has felt like a slow death, filled with poisonous thoughts when my body did what bodies do as they get older: hang onto fat and get cellulite.
Now I’m practicing find self-worth and personal value outside of my appearance. I’m accepting the fact that I am a human woman, with a body all my own, that is flawed, but beautiful because of it.
I see the value in being imperfect: in my imperfections, I have found connection to myself and those around me.
Which leads to the second part:
When you are vulnerable about your humanity, you are set free.
“Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy” — Brené Brown
Nothing chains you down like your own mind.
Most of the things we fear are self-made and then self-manifested.
You want to start living more freely? Start owning your whole-self. Start owning every piece of your story and wearing it with flair.
Tired of how others are treating you? Start treating yourself better, and demanding that others treat you accordingly and watch as the ones that aren’t meant for you fall away.
Then watch the ones that are meant for you start standing up. Listen to them say me too.
We are only as alone as we think we are.
We are only as fucked up as the secrets we keep.
I’ve been through it, most of it was self-created, some of it was trauma inflicted by wounded people.
But it’s all mine, and when I own it, you can’t.
When I hold my truth, every piece of it, you can’t hold it like a gun at my temple.
That is the power of vulnerability, honesty and owning your story.
My story is my power and that power is my own. Every day I hold it, I am free.
I write to set you free too.
That’s the point.
I’m showing you the key marked “imperfect human,” which has been there forever.
It’s your turn to unlock your cage.