I totally messed up. It wasn't on purpose, and I didn't wake up yesterday morning and say, "Ya know, today, I think I will forget to put my emergency brake on so my car will roll into someone else's car in a parking garage."
I actually did that.
I was in a hurry.
I feel totally embarrassed and ashamed.
And now I'm telling the whole world about it.
After feelings of mortification washed over me for being forgetful and in a hurry (and creating a mess for someone I don't even know), I realized (yet again) that being human is just downright hard. Most of the time, we do our best, and sometimes, we epically fail at keeping our ducks in row (or our car in park) and our actions hurt others (and their bumpers).
The universal truth is this:
We are human. Synonyms for the word, "human" include, "vulnerable, fallible, forgivable" To say that we are fallible implies that we are human. Being human means that we are messy and chaotic. We screw up. We forget one another. We forget ourselves and we forget that we are human and when we finally DO realize it, it's too late. We've already forgotten to engage the emergency brake; the car has rolled away and we are left with nothing but shame.
Our humanness sometimes creeps up on us like the sneaky bastard that it is. Our humanness ambushes us in moments that will take our breath away. Our vulnerability surprises us. Our imperfections leap from our mouths like daggers.
And we are surprised.
Every. Single Time.
These moments of imperfection crack our confidence, expose our most hidden shame and damage our souls.
However, the damage can be healed. The Japanese have a tradition that when they find cracks in their pottery, they fill the cracks with gold filled resin. It's called Kintsukuroi. The belief is that the object is more beautiful and valuable with its history revealed for all to see. On an intuitive/spiritual level I think most of us know this--it's our cracks that make us whole.
Society, however, has another story. We are taught to keep our humanness a secret. We guard our shameful moments like a warden. We don't speak of our imperfections. We cover them with addiction, anger, gossip or lies. We lie to ourselves and to others and we try to keep the shame at bay in a vain attempt to deny our vulnerability, the very thing that will deliver us to a path of authenticity and joy.
If we can embrace our vulnerability, give a nod at our shame and honor our experiences and feelings, we will slowly, yet surely, fill in our cracks with gold and reveal our true self. Amidst the brokenness there is a beautiful soul; it is flawless and overflowing with golden light. It is whole and full of grace for all. Filling in our figurative cracks means we extend love, compassion, kindness and understanding to others. Filling in the cracks means we first must break. (Don't worry about this step, living assures it.) Then we must have the courage to pick ourselves up, gather the pieces and gently put ourselves back together.
Feeling the sharp sting of my inadequacy made me feel extra vulnerable today. I couldn't separate myself from my mistake. I immediately leaped to, "I'm such an idiot!" I was embarrassed and ashamed. Brene Brown says, “Shame works like the zoom lens on a camera. When we are feeling shame, the camera is zoomed in tight and all we see is our flawed selves, alone and struggling." The lens could not have been any more zoomed in today. The crack was formed.
But, "[Our] Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we are all in this together." We are all in this together. We are all wonderfully, beautifully, divinely human. We are all cracked. Here's to helping each other fill in our cracks and carry bear our burdens together because living is heavy, and my back hurts like hell.