Sometimes, there are quotes, phrases or situations that don’t show their true meaning until the right moment presents itself. I’m a frequent flyer of the inspirational quotes on Pinterest, and while I have hundreds of quotes compiled on a board appropriately titled Inspirational Quotes<3, there are just some weeks those quotes are simply words.
I know, in my heart, they should be inspirational, but they just don’t resonate with me. Whether that’s because they aren’t the words I need to hear or it’s simply something I’ll never understand, when you get right down to it, an inspirational quote only has meaning if it makes you feel something.
Today was one of those days where I heard a quote that I’d heard countless times, but in this moment it moved me. It was speaking to me in a way it had never spoken to me before. At the end of an EMDR session, I was asked to assign a positive belief about myself that best described the memory we were focused on.
I had no idea what to say. I, for once, couldn’t think of a way to best describe it. My original phrase, I am worthy, didn’t fit anymore. It needed to be something bigger. That’s when my counselor suggested the phrase: I am human.
I wish I could have frozen time and just sat in that moment.
I am human.
What a profound phrase of self forgiveness.
It’s three simple words, but in that moment those words were so much more. It was the perfect words to explain the repair of a broken moment in my past.
I was only human.
That phrase moved me to realize so much about myself in the present, and in the past. It was a phrase that allowed me to seek compassion and empathy on a time in my life where I lacked that entirely. It gave me perspective into this idea that no amount of shame, regret and guilt can change what had happened. I had made a choice, a conscious choice, to take action in a way that I felt was appropriate.
I learned that I had never forgiven myself. I learned that with time, I had some how learned to hate who I was, what I had done, and I so desperately needed to know that it was okay. That I was okay.
I needed to forgive myself.
I am human has become my way of telling myself: It’s okay. I’m sorry for what happened, I’m sorry for how I’ve harbored these nasty feelings about who I was, what I’d done and who that made me become.
But it’s also allowed me to remind myself that taking time for me, to understand why and how, is such a vital part of the recovery process for those of us with mental illness.
I think we, as human beings, sometimes forget that when we put on our various hats in the morning that we only have so much to give; so much time, energy, love, support, happiness. We are moms, dads, friends, siblings, co-workers, bosses, teachers… All these hats, all these responsibilities.
But, each day we are only allotted so much “extra” time, energy, love and support. Sometimes we forget that beneath these hats we wear, that we are people too, and that we shouldn’t feel guilty about needing to spend that extra on ourselves.
Christina Perry has a song called Human, and it’s breathtaking. Since writing this post, I’ve listened it to probably 100 times, and there are days, like today, that this song moves me more than usual. I’ve always been a lyric person, so I want you to listen to the words of the song.
Really listen to them, and ask yourself, how often do you stretch yourself too thin? How many times have you put the welfare of others before your own? When was the last time you forgot you aren’t a machine, programmed to continue pushing on no matter what?
When was the last time that you took a moment to look at yourself in the mirror and realize you’re simply… human?
Until next time, internet.
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Lastly, I run an Emetophobia Support Group on Facebook. Emetophobia is the intense and irrational fear of throwing up, and it is one struggle I am passionately engaged in. The group is a closed, by request only group to help facilitate sharing and support by all members. It is also private, meaning that the posts you and others make will not show up publicly in your newsfeed.