The Life-Giving Necessity of Humanizing Spaces

I have been in a deep funk the last few days…weeks…months, my friends.

Today, I finally figured out (again) what’s been going on.

I have been doing too much.

If you know me, in real life, or via this blog, you’ll know that this is no great revelation and nothing new.

I do too much.

It’s a problem.

It stems from me always trying to prove my worth, and thereby undervaluing my time, overcommitting and refusing to give less than 150% to EVERY SINGLE THING.

It’s not sustainable nor realistic, and it makes me feel terrible, like I’m failing at everything because I’m not present to anything, or anyone.

Thank God for community.

I’m fortunate to have had several text, in-person, and social media conversations over this persistently funky time with people who love me deeply.  It took all of them (and a trip to Target) for me to realize what was happening.

I am not a machine.

The work that I do, the work that I’m deeply committed to, is humanizing work.  It requires me to be fully present to my humanity and the humanity of others.

I can’t do all the things and truly do this work.

I mean, clearly, I can do all the things.  I can get them done, and do them well.

But, I won’t ever thrive as long as I refuse to set boundaries, as long as I fail to value my own worth and time, as long as I am not intentional.

And, what are all the things, if there is no meaning to the work?

If I lose the humanity in the work, if my choices dehumanize me and the work I am doing, what am I actually doing?

At the core, it leaves me feeling like a complete failure, when to the external world, I may be getting the most accomplished.

There can’t be justice, peace, and sustainability, if there is not presence and intentionality.

I can’t create humanizing spaces if I continue to make dehumanizing choices in my own life.

It is the reckoning.


I know this is my demon, that sense that I am only possibly good enough through the things that I get done. And all the things I am doing are good things. But, there is such thing as too much of a good thing.  And not all the good things are for me in this time.

As I’m writing, my son is watching his 3rd Star Wars trilogy movie in a row on his first day of summer break. Last night, as I finished up some work at 10pm, my husband was playing a networked video game with his brother. My daughter is a bounty of joy and energy and wonders why I can’t spend every moment playing a pretend game, reading a book, or watching a video with her.

They get it.

I have a lot to learn.

As a dear friend said to me this week, “We are all unfinished.”

So, I will begin learning.  I will try again. I will breathe.  I will prioritize time with those that feed my spirit.

I will likely fail.

And it will take me awhile to recognize my humanity, but it’s going to be okay.

I just need to begin fighting for my own humanity and humanization as if the world’s also depended on it, because in some ways, through our webs of mutuality, it does.

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