For the men… no guilt at being human

Jun 17, 2020 | blog

In 2017, I wrote a blog post called “No Guilt at Being Human.”
 
I used to be a busy, stressed, martyred, perfectionist who felt like what I did was never enough. 
 
My commitment in that post and at that time of my life was to: 
write more; have sex more; laugh more; not work around the kids as much; hang out with my mom more (aka Sparkle Days); stop caring about what people think; no living by a checklist
 
Doing. Doing. Doing. 
… I don’t say done. done. and done because #nochecklists and these are ongoing things, not something I cross off. 
 
Do I have metrics to prove this – dollars earned or pounds lost? Nope. 
 
But I don’t give a damn about how society says I’m supposed to measure my happiness. I know what’s in my heart.  

New Way of Being 

The funny thing about growth. It never stops, really. It’s a continual shedding of the layers that my programming as a white suburban mom tells me I’m supposed to be. 
 
The question for me is no longer about guilt and being enough, but more so: 
How can I be even MORE human? 
MORE Laura
 
What makes me feel alive? 
What are the things I can’t NOT do? 
 
Feeling through those answers, not reading someone else’s manual or how to steps. 
 
It means coaching; teaching; getting involved in a local non-profit to support a hurting community in St. Louis; lifting heavy (there’s nothing like the feeling of picking up more than your body weight); dancing till I get holes in my socks; being more judicious in my creative clients; NOT playing with my kids (yes, moms you can do that!); writing and sharing poems… etc.
 
I’m sure this will change, and I look forward to that.   

Making Space 

I used to lay in bed at night and go through all the shit I didn’t accomplish and start making my list for the next day. 
 
That habit seems laughable now in a why-the-fuck-was-I-torturing-myself- kind of way? 
 
Now, I lay in bed and thank myself for even the smallest moments when I let my humanness in. 
 
I choose say no to things I used to (grudgingly) say yes to.
I choose myself over my kids. 
I choose to be in a wider world than the small one fear can create. 
I choose to not be defined by social media messages that have no depth. 
I choose to be in my body and enjoy its strength and beauty.
 
These are difficult choices that require my presence and active resistance to numbing or accepting the status quo. Getting rid of busy meant I could make space for the above.  

Aliveness is worth the effort.  

Since it’s close to Father’s Day, I write this in honor of the men I know who are willing and trying to live in a way that makes them feel alive and fulfilled. You are an inspiration.
 
We do not have to accept that men have to be strong all the time; that they always have the answers; and that their value is tied to their paychecks. 
 
It’s ok to feel. To be tired. To not know. 
 
To be human. 
 
To be vulnerable. 
 
That’s where real strength and courage is needed. I have two sons and my greatest, deepest wish is that they get to be whole people; not a cookie-cutter version of themselves based on ideas of masculinity in which they’re allowed to openly express only two emotions – anger or cheerfulness. 
 
As the cliché goes… only time will tell. 
 
I just put on my calendar to revisit this topic of being human on June 17, 2023. I wonder what it will mean for me then…? Kinda fun to think about the possibilities.  
 
May we all seek our version of what makes us feel alive. May we all question society’s rules about who we’re “supposed” to be. May we thank ourselves for growth… and keep going. 
 
Many hugs, 
Laura

 

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