17 Nov Who I am..in human form
Who I am..in human form
It’s taken me a while to come to this space, to put scattered thoughts and lumped together conversations that float through my head down on theoretical paper. But this morning I realized exactly what the problem was. I was doing the same thing many of us do, all the time. I wanted to put together something that was PERFECT, something that I felt might speak to every single person, leaving each reader with goose bumps and the feeling of being known. While I can do that, to the best of my ability when in my office with each single person, the best thing that I can do here, is shed some light on myself and perhaps something I write may strike a cord with you.
There was most definitely a moment of sheer panic as my head screamed “WHAT SHOULD I TELL THEM???” as the perfectionistic demon inside of me tried to claw its way to the surface. But the small voice inside of me found its way into being heard and posed a simple thought, asking me, “What do we all need to hear?”
And the answer came: that we are all human and there does not need to be shame in our humanity.
My name is Gretchen. On any given day how I feel about my name varies from it being the worst name ever because inevitably there will be no other Gretchen’s within a 90-foot radius; to it being the best name ever because well, inevitably there will be no other Gretchen’s within a 90-foot radius. Yes, you read that correctly; that right there is humanity. It doesn’t make sense and that’s what I want to talk about.
As a therapist my life is no different from yours. I am not perfect. My hypothetical children are not the most well behaved children you have never met. And I don’t have all the answers. I make mistakes. I make more mistakes. Eventually, once they are pointed out and I realize I have made them and don’t want to continue to do so, I work on making changes, and past mistakes become lessons learned. I sometimes trip walking up the stairs, I don’t know how it happens but I have given up on the why, and focus on the reality that it doesn’t mean anything about me, its just something about me and I am cool with it, (most of the time.) I succeed at some things I try. I fail at others. Neither experience makes me a failure or a success as a person. I AM HUMAN!
And I have come to realize that I think many of us have forgotten that.
We are all human and so many of us have intense shame over that. Being human means we are not perfect, and can never be, it is written into our makeup that we can learn, change, and adapt and that’s awesome! If I was made to be perfect, that means I would be a robot and any mistake would mean that I had malfunctioned and would need to be thrown out because I was broken; and because truly perfect things cannot break, that means I had a fatal flaw, and was never of any use.
That’s how so many of us live; believing that we are supposed to be perfect, yet knowing we are not, and the shame over that…shows up in so many painful ways. We are so incredibly afraid someone might find out that we are actually not the perfect being we have worked so hard to show up as, and that ultimately someone might see us for the fraud that we are.
But that’s the lie. We weren’t ever supposed to be perfect. And letting go of that belief is hard. But it can be done.
That’s pretty much what I am about in a nutshell. I want to help remove the shame over who we are. Once we take the power of shame, away, life begins to unfold; if we live under a cloud of shame, it dictates our lives, and ultimately we don’t like who we’ve become, because its not who we are.
If you struggle with that, you aren’t alone. We all have our moments. But most of us need someone along the way to help us out for a bit, and that’s what I do.
This space is somewhere I want to come and write freely. Nothing of what I say is written in stone or is to be taken as the only truth, but I have always wanted a space outside of the office where my thoughts take shape, and my humanity is visible. I’ll make mistakes along the way, that’s ok, because this is all part of my journey too. And thank goodness I am not a robot, because I am not broken, I never was. I sometimes just need help figuring out how to move forward and that’s totally ok.
Our humanity won’t kill us, it’s what we tell ourselves about it that might, so let’s check ourselves.