“When I think about my human experience, what honest people have told me about their human experiences, and the experiences of every historical and contemporary human being I’ve ever studied, we all seem to function in the exact same way:
We hurt people, and we are hurt by people. We feel left out, envious, not good enough, sick, and tired. We have unrealized dreams and deep regrets. We are certain that we were meant for more and that we don’t even deserve what we have. We feel ecstatic and then numb. We wish our parents had done better by us. We wish we could do better by our children. We betray and we are betrayed. We lie and we are lied to. We say good-bye to animals, to places, to people we cannot live without. We are so afraid of dying. Also: of living. We have fallen in love and out of love, and people have fallen in love and out of love with us. We wonder if what happened to us that night will mean we can never be touched again without fear. We live with rage bubbling. We are sweaty, bloated, gassy, oily. We love our children, we long for children, we do not want children. We are at war with our bodies, our minds, our souls. We are at war with one another. We wish we had said all those things while they were still here. They’re still here, and we’re still not saying those things. We know we won’t. We don’t understand ourselves. We don’t understand why we hurt those we love. We want to be forgiven. We cannot forgive. We don’t understand God. We believe. We absolutely do not believe. We are lonely. We want to be left alone. We want to belong. We want to be loved. We want to be loved. We want to be loved.
If this is our shared human experience, where did we get the idea that there is some other, better, more perfect, unbroken way to be human? Where is the human being who is functioning “correctly,“ against whom we are all judging our performances? Who is she? Where is she? What is her life if it is not these things?
I got free the moment I realized that my problem isn’t that I am not a good enough human; my problem is that I’m not a good enough ghost. Since I don’t have to be a ghost, I don’t have a problem.
If you are uncomfortable – in deep pain, angry, yearning, confused – you don’t have a problem, you have a life. Being human is not hard because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because you’re doing it right. You will never change the fact that being human is hard, so you must change your idea that it was ever supposed to be easy.”
-Glennon Doyle, author of Untamed