I had a bad day yesterday.
I woke up with a dull throb in my temples that later exploded into a low-grade migraine. I pushed through instead of resting. As you might imagine, that didn’t help the headache at all.
I was cranky and grouchy, and though I did my best to not let that overflow into my family, I caught myself at times having angry responses because I was tense and tired from the headache.
When evening came, I read for a little bit until my wife went upstairs. I’ve adopted a “quiet time” into my evenings. After my wife goes upstairs, I spend fifteen or twenty minutes in silence.
I stop short of calling it meditation, because I’m not really focused on emptying my mind or focusing on my breath, or any of the things you try to do when you’re meditating.
Instead, I play a YouTube video that is a composition of a 528hz Solfeggio frequency, and I sit quietly, with my back straight, and breathe deeply while listening to the music. I try to focus on the music and breathing deeply and not get caught up in thinking about my day or what is stressing me out.
Last night, after a couple of minutes, I began to have thoughts about our dog who died two summers ago. I didn’t understand why, but I let the thoughts and memories stand. Then, I began to have thoughts and memories flood in about my mother and her last days in the hospital. I was overcome with emotion, and let myself sit there with tears welling up, feeling gratitude for these memories but wondering why they were popping up now, of all times.
Then, as my mind is apt to do, my thoughts shifted to how I hadn’t done enough for Mom, how I could have called more, or visited more, and how I wasn’t a good dog owner to Tory (our dog), and didn’t pay enough attention to her in her last days. These thoughts began to spill over into my day, and how I wasn’t attentive enough to my kids.
I was feeling sorry for myself and struggling with my self-esteem, when a new thought suddenly came to me from out of nowhere.
It was as clear as though a voice spoke to me, though it came to me more as an impression in my mind.
“You are human.”
This was such an odd thing for me to think about at this time. But it caught my attention, and realization dawned quickly on me. Yes, I am human, after all, and I am imperfect and flawed, but I am growing past and through these to become the best I can be.
This realization taught me, in an instant, that it was okay to feel love and regret simultaneously, and that past failures or desire to have done more don’t define me. What defines me is my intent to grow, to learn from my past, and to be a better human in the present.
We are all human. We all make mistakes. We all wish we had responded differently to situations and people in our lives.
We are all human. We all want to love more. We all want to grow.
This conundrum is what it means to be human. And we should embrace it as a gift.
This was a different article for me to write today. It’s very personal. And I feel more than a little vulnerable in writing it. But I’m offering it to you as a gift, and I hope you enjoy it and learn from it. Blessings.