Being Human

“You are not a human being having a spiritual experience; you are a spiritual being having a human experience.” Pierre de Chardin

If we could just remember that, I think we all would have more compassion, more understanding, and more acceptance of ourselves and each other and the things we do.

I know I struggle with that every day, especially on those days that my impatience/intolerance rears up and starts wreaking havoc. If there’s one thing I have found, is that my Achilles heel (my impatience) is a great humbler. When I start to think of myself as “more aware” than the next guy, of having evolved further (spiritually), that ol’ impatience kicks in and I realize that I’m no better than anyone else.

I’m still learning; I’m still human. That’s the part that is hard to forgive ourselves for—the fact that we are human. Not that it should be used as an excuse to do harm, by any means, but we aren’t saints; we aren’t super beings. We’re human beings, with human emotions, and human foibles. We make mistakes; we stumble and fall, but we keep on trying.

So many people spend time striving to be more spiritual (raise your hands ), instead of striving to be more human. We’re already spiritual—it’s how we started out and how we’ll eventually end up. So, why do we spend our human lifetimes striving to attain that which we will automatically have once we leave the physical plane? Why can’t we enjoy what we have (physicality) while we have it?

I’ll admit it; I’m as guilty as the rest of you. Instead of enjoying the life of physicality, I struggle against it, trying hard to be a being of spirit rather than a physical being. I give myself all sorts of reasons, too—life (meaning physical life) is too painful; it’s too mundane; it’s too easy to see through the “games”, the “man-made dramas”, that entangle most everyone else.

Yet, the whole purpose of physical life is to experience this world. That doesn’t mean I have to participate in every “game” and “drama”, but it does mean that I need to understand them. And if I really understood them, if I really could see “through” them, then why is it I can’t always keep myself from flying off the handle in a fit of impatience-filled temper? Is it because, just perhaps, that I’m still having some human experiences of my own?

Maybe I’m not so adept at seeing through all the “games” and the “dramas” as I’d like to think. Why else would I continually find myself in those situations just guaranteed to push my impatience into overdrive? Situations like the need-to-be-someplace-but-can’t-get-the-traffic-to-move situation, or the just-need-one-thing-but-there’s-a-mile-long-line-at-checkout, and similar situations.

I’ve always said, that if you find yourself in similar situations over and over again, it’s because there’s something you’re just not getting, there’s something you’re not accepting or understanding. Based on my own situations, maybe, this spiritual being has a few more lessons to learn and few more experiences to have as a physical being.

The experiences of patience and impatience may seem trivial, but trust me when I tell you that words hurt.  And when impatience is running loose, the words and emotions that spill out can (and do) push everyone near you away. I’m working to recognize the beast so that I can accept it and tame it, but every time I think I have all facets of it catalogued, it sprouts a new set of horns, another tail, or larger set of fangs.

So, I will continue to be a spiritual being having the human experience of pursuing my beastly impatience, and maybe, someday, I will capture the beast long enough to recognize it the next time it shows up.


5 thoughts on “Being Human

  1. It seems that our own “problems” are so much easier to recognize in others; and when we do recognize them in ourselves (in hindsight, usually), the knowledge doesn’t always help us avoid the situation in the future. It’s just not easy being human.


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