by Angie Harvey

We tend to use the phrase we’re “only human” when attempting to identify or justify a weakness,  deficit or short coming.  When we find ourselves in situations where who we are doesn’t measure up we offer up the explanation that eludes to the fact that we’re not perfect, we make mistakes, we are emotional beings, and we’re graciously flawed.  I find it ironic that when we use the statement we’re usually attempting to explain away something adverse versus embracing the greatness that being “only human” provides.

Being “only human” we get the opportunity to express how we think, feel and believe to others.  I don’t know about you but that is a plus if you’ve GROWN to a place that you can do it without pause. However, I already see how some folks can use the “only human” phrase to explain away why they didn’t express themselves appropriately or why they hadn’t spoken up timely. Are you seeing how this works?

Being “only human” allows us to express a wide range of emotions that can provide us a release, balance and other amazing things.  This is an amazing human trait that by and large allows us to experience joy, happiness, fulfillment and success.   We’re also given the task to manage those emotions and of course this is yet another way the “only human” phrase gets used; to justify our inability or unwillingness to work having AND managing our emotions.  

Being “only human” affords us the opportunity to show and improve for ourselves and others including family, partners, community, church, and society.  We are fortunate to be able to exercise care, compassion, and collaboration with others for the good of all humans.  You already know where I’m about to GROW with this.  Yes, there are some that use the “only human” phrase to excuse themselves from showing up for others and GROWING up themselves.  It’s usually in this arena where an explanation quickly turns into and excuse follow by  … you guessed it “I’m only human.”

We, as humans have some remarkable traits and unbanning abilities.  For all the adversity that any human can create, maintain and explain there are also a multitude of traits and abilities that can promote and foster greatness.  We’ve taken some of the amazing gifts and talents that we all are blessed with and built a wall of explanations that are often excuses around them.  We quickly turn to something that can give us an out that doesn’t make us look bad to others and feel bad about ourselves. 

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that the explanation of being “only human” isn’t valid.  However, I’m suggesting that it has also become a crutch on which we hobble around life hoping to get us out of places where we’re uncomfortable, unable, or unwilling to do better. I’d like to suggest before any of us GROWING folks pull out the handy dandy phrase to use to defend ourselves we pause and consider how we can show up better because we’re “only human.” 

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