Remember your humanity

The man behind me at the grocery store dropped his smoothie on the ground, and it exploded red everywhere.

He began yelling at himself: “Shit! I am such a stupid human!!” His anger radiated out like an atom bomb, and it made me flinch.

He wasn’t available to hear how it could happen to anyone.

He wasn’t available to hear that he’s not the only one who dropped something on the floor in that line.

He wasn’t available to hear much of anything, really, except for his own rage and hatred of himself.

You could tell that he’d already suffered greatly in his life. He was 400 or so pounds, and here he was, trying to buy a smoothie to nourish himself, and he felt like he couldn’t even do that right.

I started thinking about how all of us, in our private and darkest moments, can and do speak to ourselves like that.

And how abusive and unrelenting and downright cruel our own inner critics can sound, and how loud they can be when they think they have a point.

And how some of the best and the brightest and the shiniest people that I’ve ever met often berate themselves violently behind closed doors, when almost any outsider would find them to be totally incredible humans.

I started thinking about every negative thing I’ve ever said to myself and how it would make anyone else flinch if they heard it.

I started thinking about every negative thing I’ve ever heard anyone say about me, and how those are probably the same ugly things they say to themselves.

And on and on this cycle goes, of hurt people hurting themselves and others, and those others hurting themselves and others still. More pain and suffering and hating gets passed around like mono your freshman year of college.

Except it’s harder to recover from.

I don’t have an answer or a solution. It would be easy to say “if you feel this way, see a therapist” or “find a healer to clear your sacred DNA” or “get your shit together.”

But we’re humans, not gods, and no matter how hard we try, sometimes we’re gonna mess it up. Sometimes we’re gonna drop the juice. And sometimes we might even yell at ourselves for it.

Maybe in those moments it’s about being a nudge gentler, a teaspoon more compassionate, a little bit kinder to ourselves and those around us.

What do you think?

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