It’s Hard to be Human

One of my soul friends recently said, “It’s easy to be Spirit, but it’s hard to be human!” It does sum up what I have been examining recently. What does it mean to be a human being? We are the most evolved of our species, and yet I struggle with what we have yet to learn about living together on this planet. Below is the human origins exhibit at the Smithsonian that opened my eyes to the story of our evolution and just how long that took.

What a privilege to be here as a human being with a unique intelligence and capability not in existence before. It took 6 million years to arrive at a place at the top of the tree of origins. We learned how to stand erect, to use tools, to develop language, to do complex thinking and examine our emotional response. And yet we have not evolved to understand that we are all ONE. I don’t need to elaborate on that. We all know the ways we separate and exclude and fear one another as a species. And as an individual of that species, I can see and know it in myself. Despite my most fervent desire to not judge others, to love others, to treat everyone equally, to be in harmony and experience peace in my heart, let alone peace on the planet, I have not yet evolved to this level of consciousness. And YET I do believe some of us have. And with great trust, I know that I have that potential. And I am evolving to this great divine intention. But in the meantime, I agree with my friend, “it’s hard to be human.” It’s hard to be in the NOW and NOT YET as my seminary teachers described it. This poem by Jane Hirschfield was given to me by another friend. Perhaps she knew I would need it–this poem– and this kind of friendship– to evolve. I plan to continue writing on what it means to be human, but for now, this.

MY SPECIES

even

a small purple artichoke

boiled

in its own bittered

and darkening

waters

grows tender,

grows tender and sweet

patience, I think,

my species

keeps testing the spiny leaves

the spiny heart.

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