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Begin at the Beginning

“You’re only human. You don’t have to have it together every minute of every day.” — Anne Hathaway

I drive a 1969 VW bus and I live on a boat. The weather in LA is generally amazing, however we had a few weeks of storms and bad weather. Mother Nature affected my life. The bus wouldn’t start, and things broke on the boat due to 45 mph winds. Some people lost power, and others were flooded. I know things could have been much worse. I’m not comparing what happened in LA to the extent of national hunger or world wars. However, I am expressing that no matter what goes on in our lives, we are all human and all get affected in an emotional way, regardless of the cause or extent of the problem. Those human emotions are what make us all the same. During the worst day of the storms, I felt fear, anger, worry. Those feelings then affected how I behaved that day. No matter how strong I am and how organized I might be, I still had those involuntary emotions that brought me back to just “be human”.

What do the following mean to you; Being human, feeling human, treating other humans in a humane way?

Imagine a scenario when you’re not feeling 100%, so you need to take a day off from school or work. How often does the person in higher authority just accept that and say, “Ok. Hope you get better.”? How often do you feel bad for taking that time off? Isn’t feeling unwell a normal human element? So how when human qualities are presented, do you sometimes feel that you can’t be human?

The majority of humans have one major thing in common. Pressure, no matter how big or small, sometimes from an outside influence, sometimes from ourselves. So if you feel it, then surely you can help others. Surely you can have empathy and connect over this feeling.

Some people have no problem having empathy for others, but what about giving some to yourself? What happens when you accept that you’re only human? Take a step back and examine what pressures may be on you. Who put those pressures on you to be on time? To earn a certain amount of money? To look a specific way? What if you removed that pressure from yourself? Imagine yourself like a pressure cooker. Press the button that releases the steam. Take a breath of fresh air and just remember you are only human. Stop adding shame to yourself when you don’t accomplish everything on your list or decide not to go out with friends when you need a night in.

Here are 3 Steps I live by every day to help relieve my pressures:

  1. Take a step back. Take a breath.

  2. Evaluate what pressures you’re putting on yourself, and what pressures society or outside forces are putting on you.

  3. Remove unnecessary pressures, reallocate those pressures, and find a way to relieve those tasks.

These three steps can be applied for any situation. Something as small as deciding whether to go out for the night, whether to make a phone call, or even apply for a job. By taking that beat, stepping outside of yourself for the moment, you will get a clearer perspective on the situation. Don’t forget you’re only human.

You may look like you have a strong exterior, but being human has a fragility to it. Be there for others when you can and give yourself a break. You are living. Remind yourself that you, and everyone around you, are human.

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