Do you ever notice that the things we’re all super weird about are all the things we all do but want to pretend we don’t? All those normal human things we cover up like they’re Pentagon secrets?
We are constantly relating to ourselves as weird or special, and we usually don’t mean “special” in a good way.
Needing to pee. Farting. Stomach grumbling. Pooping. Body hair, whether you’re losing it in one location where you wish it would stay, or whether it’s popping up in places you wish it wouldn’t. Gaining weight. Cellulite. Blemishes. The list goes on and on. It’s all the stuff you never see in the movies.
And that’s just the physical realm. There’s a vast array of mental/emotional/spiritual experiences we all pretend we don’t have going on, but of course we do. Feeling afraid. Feeling sad. Feeling mad. Feeling righteous and judgmental. Feeling inadequate. Feeling like an imposter (bonus points because we’ve made feeling like we’re inadequate wrong and then also made it wrong to have the obvious coping mechanism of feeling like we’ll be caught for being inadequate, too).
We have all this stuff going on under the surface all the time, but we paste a smile on our faces and feign perfection instead, which leaves us feeling artificial and misunderstood, which is exactly what we are actually being and creating.
And this game we all play creates a societal expectation that we all feel, do and be constantly perfect, which none of us can pull off at the best of times, let alone any other moment that isn’t the best of times.
When any of this stuff shows up, we react to it like we’re deathly allergic to whatever completely normal human experience we’re experiencing. We make it wrong: that pimple, those 10 pounds, that sadness or resentment, that doubt or fear.
It’s not enough we’re already experiencing something that is less than stellar on the available menu of human happenstance; we’ve got to add to the stress and distress by making the experience wrong and ourselves wrong for having it.
Oof. It just seems a little unnecessary to make it harder to be a human when it’s already clearly hard enough.
You’ve got some fear because you’re trying to do something new? That makes sense.
You feel sad because you’re struggling to find and create a healthy relationship? That tracks.
You’ve got judgments on other people for the way they’re living their lives? Alright, cool. Me too.
None of this has to be meaningful unless we say so. But why are we saying so? I suspect it’s because if we can distract ourselves with judgments and worries that we’re abnormal, we’ll stop trying to do anything that is even narrowly outside of our comfort zones.
Our fear knows the best way to stop us from doing anything risky (and it views just about everything we might ever do as risky) is to get us all up in our heads, wondering if we’re normal or if how we feel means there’s something wrong with us.
Here’s the thing, though: you know all that suffering created by all those thoughts you have about how weird and wrong you are for what you’re feeling, thinking or doing? Yeah, all that suffering is optional. It’s not mandatory. Heck, it’s not even beneficial. It’s certainly not enjoyable.
So, if you like, you can keep on thinking it’s weird that you—a human—keep having all these human experiences, thoughts and feelings.
Or you can shrug your shoulders, practice saying, “Well, that makes sense,” about yourself and anyone else you encounter who is also having a human experience, and get on with whatever you were trying to do before you got sucked into the vortex of wondering if there is something wrong with you.
Life becomes a lot more enjoyable when you stop insisting that the most boring and common collectively negative experiences of being a human are what make you special.
Your soul is what makes you special, not your suffering.
You’re a spiritual being, having a human experience. And, in case you weren’t sure: you’re allowed to enjoy this.