‘Cause we’re only human,
Oh yes we are, only human
If it’s our only excuse, do you think we’ll
Keep on being only human?
Oh yes, we are, only human…
This idea that we are “only” human is powerful. I’ve heard it used as an excuse to explain natural limitations as in, “but I’m only human.” At its most hurtful this is wielded as a weapon and spat out as in, “well what do you expect, I’m only human!” Used as either weapon or excuse, this keeps the person claiming to be “only human” from recognizing their limits and taking responsibility for them. And to view being “only human” in this way seems to me shortsighted.
I actually think our humanity, our naturally limited nature, is one of our greatest gifts. It is our limitations that allow us to learn and grow, it lets grace in, and it causes us to need others. My own limitations have brought me pain, it is true, but they have also been the path I walked to grace, gratitude and joy. Without my faults, I could hardly know any of these God-given wonders.
But this grace I have experienced didn’t just wash over me due to my shortcomings. I had to own up to them, take responsibility for my mistakes and limitations; I had to embrace them in a way. If I had pushed them away or denied them, I wouldn’t have been able to learn. It was in moving toward my faults that I found freedom in them. I really see limitations as a wonderful opportunity.
For without my limitations, how would I ever need anyone else? Where would there be room in me for relationships with other people or with the divine? How would I ever be able to let anyone else in?
It is my humanity that opens the door to compassion, for self and others. It turns out that I’m just a beautiful wreck. And so are you. What can I learn from this, how can I grow, and how can I serve other beautiful wrecks that I encounter along the way?
Okay people! I don’t want to hear any more of this “but I’m only human” stuff. Let’s have some “I’m human! Thank God, I’m human! Now what shall I do with that today?”
Today I’m sending you love, from one beautiful wreck to another.