There are a lot of things in life we don’t have a choice about—our gender, our parents, the environment we grew up in, our level of intelligence, our looks, our personality traits, and all of the rest of our conditioning, or programming. We are a soul that is in whatever package we are in. And yet, we often feel as if we are supposed to be different or as if we could be different, when we can’t be any different than we are. As humans, we invest much of our time and emotional energy in wishing we were different and in trying to be different than we are. However, the only thing that needs to be different for us to be happy is to accept the human package we were given and not take it personally if it isn’t what we would like it to be. It isn’t our fault that we appear as we appear or that we tend to respond the way we respond or that we suffer about whatever we suffer about. Somehow, deep inside, we feel that we shouldn’t be the way we are and we shouldn’t be flawed.
Everyone has this same sense of being flawed. Part of being human is feeling flawed, imperfect, less than. Those feelings seem to come with the package! The only way out of this dilemma of feeling like we should be different than we are is not becoming more perfect, according to our ideas of perfection, although it is certainly fine to improve ourselves and become better human beings. We can’t escape these feelings of imperfection by trying to become more perfect because there is no end to what we feel needs fixing, especially since we can’t escape aging and our ultimate demise.
The only way out of this dilemma is to realize that we are not actually the human being we appear to be. The human being we appear to be is just our packaging, our costume. The being that we are is neither human nor animal nor anything else, but being-ness that happens to be incarnate (in a body). The more we are in touch with our being-ness, the more we can accept and have compassion for the human dilemma of never feeling content, never feeling we are enough, and never feeling we have enough. The egoic programming that is part of our humanity includes a sense of lack. As humans, we are programmed to feel we are lacking, life is lacking, and other people are lacking.
The ego has a very high standard for happiness, and so we rarely experience happiness when we believe we are only a human being. When we drop into our being-ness, we discover a love for life and for others, and then we feel happy. We are here to learn to be happy within the human experience, but to do this we first have to realize that we are not the unhappy human we so often experience ourselves as, but that which is beyond the need for life and ourselves to be any way other than it is and we are. Only from this place of being-ness can we love, appreciate, and have compassion for our humanness and the humanness of others.
The question, “Are you willing to be human?” comes from outside our humanness, from the part of you that knows you are not human. The only thing that can answer this question with a yes is the part of you that is not human—your being-ness, or what I often like to call Essence. That willingness to be human is Essence saying yes to life and yes to this particular human life, however it looks. Are you willing to have a human body that gets sick, ages, and eventually dies? Are you willing to have an ego that says no to life? Are you willing to have the thoughts you have? Are you willing to have the feelings you have? Are you willing to have the psychological issues you have? Are you willing to have the talents you have (and not other ones)? Are you willing to look the way you look, speak the way you speak, and do everything else the way you do it? The only sane answer is yes, since there is very little choice in any of these things.
Another set of questions we can ask is: “Are you willing to have life be the way it is? Are you willing to let other people be the way they are? Are you willing to let it all happen as it is happening?” The ego says no, but the only sane answer is yes. Can you find that which is within you that says yes to it all just the way it is? It’s there. Find it and focus on it and let the ego rattle off its complaints. Meanwhile, rest in yes. All is well.