Being Human

I believe this video “Matthew” – Rob Bell (Legendado)” will help others who have lost their loved ones find comfort in knowing that they are not alone in their sufferings. Like what my best friend shared with me, when one suffers, the rest of us too suffers because we are interconnected. I think this aspect of feeling our pains and sorrow not only is what makes us human, but is also that which connects us all as human beings.

This thought makes me reflect further about what it is to be human. Many of us know about human beings because we are human beings. But do we know about being human? This is actually a question that has not occurred to me before, and I think it is a crucial question.

I have come to realise that to be human is to be authentic to our inner self, to be in touch with our innermost thoughts and feelings. Many of us in the society tend to favour one spectrum of our emotions over the other. We see happiness, peace and exuberance as positive on one hand, and sadness, worries and anger as negative on the other hand. We tend to exalt and promote the positive emotions and suppress and hide the negative emotions. Yet to be human is to feel and experience both spectrums of emotions.

Many of us think that to be truly alive is to be joyful and peaceful. Yet I have come to see that to be truly alive is to embrace the totality of our emotions, whether joyful or sorrowful, peaceful or fearful.

For example, I see Jesus coming to earth to show us how it is like to be human – to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to mourn with those who mourn. He comforts the broken-hearted and grieves with them. He is acquainted with our sorrows, and bears our pains and weaknesses. (Come to think of it, I don’t see the religious Pharisees grieving and mourning with those who are suffering. I only see Jesus being moved with compassion time and time again whenever he saw people in need of help and healing and restoration.)

The society as a whole tends to mask their feelings or emotions, and as a result, many people tend to live a superficial life, as they are not willing to be in touch with their inner self. (I have been there myself too.) Like what my best friend said, the still, small voice within us is always reaching out to us in our quiet moments, no matter how busy we are in our lives or how many friends we have in our surroundings.

While it is true that positive emotions tend to promote better health and well-being, it is not beneficial to our well-being in the long run if we continually psych ourselves to be happy all the time and suppress our sad or angry or fearful emotions. This is because our suppressed emotions will one day resurface, usually at unexpected times, sometimes in ways that are harmful to ourselves and/or others. It is therefore healthy and normal to grieve at times, for example, such as when we face the loss of our loved ones.

Speaking of which, I like this quote which I came across earlier on:

“This is for all the Strong ladies, who have been through a lot in life and survived!!! I am strong because I’ve known weakness, I am compassionate because I have experienced suffering, I am alive because I am a fighter, I am wise because I’ve been foolish, I can laugh because I have known sadness. I can love because I have known loss.”

Yes, we are strong because we have known weakness. As mentioned earlier, it is ok to grieve when we face a loss or setback because it allows us to be in touch with our inner self, and the still, small voice of Love within us is always reaching out to us. Grieving and feeling our emotions of pain, weakness, suffering, sadness and sorrow is a necessary part of our healing and growing process as human beings. We are strong because we have been through a lot in life and survive, and it enables us to be a channel of compassion and love to others as well.

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