Or are you a Human Doing?
Have you ever paused to consider what human being, the very words we use to describe ourselves, really mean?
hu-man be-ing (noun) a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance.
Is it a surprise that the very term we use to describe our species, humanity in general, has the word BEING in it?
Now what does being mean?
- present participle of be
And be? Well be means to exist.
So what is it with our obsession to constantly be in action? To constantly be doing?
Yesterday at church, a friend asked me how I was, and all I could answer was that I was busy.
Really? Is that what I am? At my current emotional and physical state, is that what I am?
As I walked away I had the unsettling feeling that I had said something that I didn’t agree with. I wasn’t busy. I am. I am a person. I am a soul. Granted I am a person living in a season of chaos. I am confused. My mind is constantly streaming. I am starting a new job, finishing up my certification as a Certified Health Coach (I will be done in about a week, yay!). Starting an online business course and still getting settled into a new life. But I know this is a season, and no matter how crazy it may feel, it shouldn’t define me.
It doesn’t define me.
Yet, once again I found that busy word slipping out of my mouth.
I know this isn’t just me. Ask any five people how they are in America - or granted most first world countries - and I can almost guarantee that at least one if not three will respond with something similar to busy.
What caused us to lose touch with the very essence of being human?
To sit still. To listen to the life pumping from our hearts. To calm our thoughts. To focus on our breath. To spend time in prayer, meditation or reading sacred texts?
Is it social media? A focus on success? Technology? The pace of the world? High work expectations? The “American Dream”? What?
It could be all of them, it could be none of them. Regardless, it has happened, and I think humanity has suffered as a collective due to it.
We have lost touch with others, with the natural world, our own bodies and with our creator.
The constant action of doing has become an addiction. An idol. Something we define ourselves by.
I think it is time to change.
It is time we learn how to listen to our bodies. To understand what it is we really need. To spend time with family. To cultivate close friendly and romantic relationships. To stare at our partners in bed, rather than our phones before falling asleep.
To notice the sweet smelling flowers in bloom as we run (Santa Barbara is absolutely bursting with floral scents along every sidewalk - jasmine, orange blossoms, roses and much more - it is amazing!). To spend time staring at and appreciating the nature that surrounds us - whether snow piled high or red rocks glowing as the sun sets or the mountains emerging from the darkness as the sun rises - it is all beautiful and an amazing gift.
To recognize what our bodies are really feeling. Recognize when we are exhausted and allowing ourselves to stop and sleep. Recognize that our bodies tell us what they want if we just pay attention. Be willing to experiment with foods to learn what makes us feel our best.
To recognize that there is something greater than ourselves in this universe and beyond. To allow our soul exploration and discovery. To allow ourselves to connect with God.
The concepts of fighting through life and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps are motivating, yes - but personally, I am starting to believe they are wrong.
We are meant to depend on God. To depend on one another. On the community around us. We are relational beings.
When we unclench our fists and let go of the control we want over our lives- and give it over to God, something amazing happens. The pressure is lifted. It is no longer us against the world instead it is us with God.
He gave us our individual desires and abilities for a reason.
There is a reason I am so in love with Cape Town, South Africa that I went to live there for 2.5 years and have left a bit of myself there (and will be back again!).
There is a reason I have the dream to start my own business.
A reason I started this blog.
I do not believe that giving up control means giving up on your dreams - rather it is lifting them from our shoulders. Giving them over to a power far greater than our own. Giving ourselves the ability to be calm, to listen, to live and ultimately - just BE.
So join me. Choose to alleviate the pressure and focus on how you can change the way you look at yourself and your life so when someone asks, how are you? the answer is no longer just busy - rather it is something more. Because you are more than what you are doing. You are a HUMAN BEING.