This being a human is a messy business. We’re born into lives we didn’t choose, with bodies and brains programmed by thousands of years of evolution to act in ways we may never fully understand, into a world that is constantly in flux. This gorgeous mind of ours has the astounding capacity to time travel – a phenomenon that is both a blessing and a curse as it gives us a portal to visit our pasts and imagine our futures by the same means that it can cause us to get stuck there. The terrain of our inner experiences can be as frightening as it is enlivening, our emotions as immeasurably deep with joy as pain, while our outer experiences rarely provide any ground more stable.
And yet, amidst this uncertainty – amidst the awkward, clumsy, difficult task of navigating a world, brain, and body without a compass – we laugh. We share; we connect. We have big, beautiful, undaunted dreams. We care for others, and are drawn to the unique things that bring meaning to our lives. We also cry, feel pain, experience vulnerability, struggle with imperfection and dissatisfaction, and constantly wish that this – this situation, this relationship, this self, this body – was different than it is. We are driven for success, accomplish breathtaking achievements, and often spend much of our lives striving for something that feels just out of reach. We are drawn to big events to mark our lives – birthdays, weddings, funerals, graduations, births, jobs, promotions, divorces – as if these are the measure of our existence. And, yet, we are never more fully human than in the moments between moments – when we catch a tender look from someone who cares about us, revel in the feeling of music reverberating in our chests, lose track of time when immersed in activities we love, spill coffee on our shirts, feel our heart pick up speed as we worry or fall in love, make a mistake, laugh until we cry, cry until we laugh, or melt into a hug.
Navigating this incredible constellation of experiences is what I think of as the art of being. It is something we all share – something that has the potential to connect us even when we feel disconnected, and that makes compassion for ourselves and others possible. This blog is dedicated to exploring the moments that, on an everyday level, make all of us ordinary, flawed, beautiful creatures (im)perfectly human.