Choosing my Humanity

Photograph of a Japanese garden

Yesterday, I thought to myself, “What does it really mean to choose me?”

Today, on my (very long, traffic-filled) commute home, after a day of meetings and e-mails, I heard the echoes of words I had said at my last meeting of the day, words about how institutions make decisions that are dehumanizing, how they forget the well-being of the humans they ostensibly serve.

And in the remembering, it made sense to me why I am so tired. Why I have been so tired.

I am so very human.

Yet, it is so easy to forget my own humanity within a world, within systems, within situations, that feel so inherently dehumanizing.

I adapt. I always try to make a situation better. So, I throw all my humanity into systems that are not set up to be humane, but are, in fact, set up in ways that steal the humanity of those who are most human, and then toss them to the side for the next expendable body.

But I do not have to choose this.

I can choose my humanity.

This is not a natural choice for me, so I am sure this will be tiring in its own way until it becomes more natural.

But humanity is natural for me, and I find my balance when I am aligned with my own humanity.

It clicks.

It makes sense.

The space opens up.

I feel like I can breathe again.

It is complicated to choose my humanity, but humanity is complicated. It is messy and filled with emotions, particularly for those who are deeply connected with humanity, our own and that of others.

It is exhausting to stand for humanity in the face of so much dehumanization.

But I can choose rest too.

While choosing my humanity, while choosing to stand for humanity, is complicated, it is also simple, in some ways. It is clear.

It clicks.

It makes sense.

The space opens up.

I feel like I can breathe again.

It is sweet to breathe.

It is lovely to have enough energy to write from my heart.

It is good to feel connected to my heart again.

I have missed myself.

But I have been here all the time.


I know, because life goes in cycles, that inevitably, I will run away from my humanity again. That I may well feel disconnected from myself, and lost, trying to find myself in the love of others, in the external affirmation that used to anchor my worth in works.

I forgive myself in advance.

I also know that I can find my way home. I can find my way back. I can find a way to my body, to my breath, to my heart. I can trust myself.

I am learning to trust myself.

I will crawl blindly until I learn to walk until I can run back to myself.

I know it will click.

I know it will make sense.

The space will open up.

I will breathe again.

Like I am breathing now.

If I just remember that…

I am home.

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