Embracing My Humanity: Close Up & At a Distance

Selfie of me, in front of a rising sun on the Garonne River in Bordeaux, France

I have a confession to make.

As much as I have always been an advocate for humanizing pedagogies, humanizing education, humanizing practices in the world, I have deeply failed to embrace my own humanity.

I have done too much for too many people without acknowledging or doing anything about the ways the choices I’ve made for others have (in their totality) harmed me.

It is nobody’s responsibility but my own. I honor the parts of me that have not wanted to disappoint anyone, those that have found doing t0 be a form of survival, those that have craved connection that hasn’t always been available to me. I do not regret the choices I’ve made.

But now, I am choosing me.

I am in the latter third of a two week research trip that has been transformative in so many ways, personal and professional.

It has changed the way I see myself and what is possible for me in my personal and professional life in ways that are so profound I have not yet grasped them.

I have cried so many tears, deep heaving sobs of release for the pressure that I have put upon myself.

I have felt the weight of the trauma I’ve carried for myself and generations before me, the strength that came from putting the needs of everyone ahead of my own.

I have faced myself honestly and realized that I have spent so long running from my truth.

I have read and written and engaged deeply with ideas and people who have renewed me in ways big and small and reminded me of my deep commitments in this world and in this work.

I have realized that I cannot embrace my humanity if I continue to move in ways that dishonor my time, energy, and presence.

So, I am making some changes. And I am writing them here for accountability:

  1. I am going to be less on social media in general and more intentional about what I post when I am publicly sharing
  2. I am going to be less available to everyone and more available to the people I am building with and the people I love most in this world and this work.
  3. I am going to structure my time in ways that allow me to focus on my heart work
  4. I am going to prioritize presence
  5. I am going to choose myself from time to time, and in honoring myself, I will honor and uplift community
  6. I am going to rest. When frantic energy seizes me, I am going to pause, stop, and breathe. I am going to remember who I am and whose I am. I will gather myself.
  7. I am going to choose my battles. I cannot fight all the time. Sometimes, I need to lean into (internal) peace as my greatest power, to restore before moving forward.
  8. I am going to do all of this with kindness and grace towards myself and others, holding space for myself and those I love most with gentleness and openness. (Thanks to @wildwalkerwoman on Twitter for this suggestion)

I will likely blog more and tweet/ post less. I will read less about working less and actually work less (thanks, Jung, for that sage advice). I am going to trust more, take in the beauty around me, be present to the love that surrounds me. I am going to touch gratitude daily.

I am so grateful for this time, which is all that I have needed and more than I expected.

I will see you when I see you.

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