I use to use Alicia Key’s song Superwoman to get through taking 4 buses and 2 trains every day. I had to get my kid to school, work 8 hours, pick her up from and afterschool program, get home, make dinner, help with homework, have quality time with her and prepare to do the whole thing again the next day, alone. I did this some days while in school, so my night ran into the wee hours of the morning finishing an assignment. Other times I had a second job so the pick was 9pm from the babysitters. All this while still trying to be a faithful church member. I had to be supermom… superwoman.
Or was I just being what we all are… a human, just making it.
Now that my kid is almost 19 years old, I have found that those days were much easier to get through my simply putting “an S on my chest” (literally just saying it), perhaps just because I was young and naive. Or maybe I was just too busy to think of anything else besides just getting through. Either way, it would seem that being older, wiser and freer has made it almost impossible to still feel like a superhero.
Now that I am older, I am constantly frustrated by my limits. I live with an illness that sometimes keeps me from living the life I desire in terms of being productive. Some days it feels like it keeps me from pursuing my dreams. And even worse, sometimes, it hurts my family. That’s a tough thing to live with. In order to cope, I have to remind myself that I AM NOT MY HUMAN LIMITS.
It took maturity and education about mental health to come to the understating that identify and accepting our limits is a healthy way to cope with life. By knowing our limits, we learn to manage life and keep our emotional and mental wellness at the forefront, where it belongs. The challenge however, is embracing those limits without allowing them to limit you.
In the society we live, it’s easy to identify ourselves by our human limits. I personally believe we are more than human but, to be our best, we don’t have to be superhuman, just fully human. Let me explain.
A lot of what drives us to be successful, to be our best and to beat the odds comes from the simple desire to be special. It’s a human desire to want to be admired, loved and appreciated. There is no shame in it. It’s perfectly normal and acceptable. The problem comes when we think we somehow deserve more than just this human nature; thinking that we can save others, or believing we are more powerful or deserving than our fellow human. That’s where we run into issues like messiah complexes and struggles with our ego.
It okay to want to be special loved and admired. There is enough of it to go around. Look for it from those closest to you as you strive to be the best version of yourself. But most importantly, always remember that every human being has their limits. Some have more limits than others. But mostly the limits are equal, just different. It doesn’t make anyone less of a person or deserving of love and admiration. Because ultimately, we are more than our limits. The spirit that lives in each of us is what drives our desires. The spirit in each of us is limitless in love and compassion. We may simply be limited in ways we are able to express that love and compassion.
All the work I have done, all my efforts and perseverance cannot be compared with what I have inside, what I am sometimes unable to express. That limit does not even begin to identify who I am fully. What I truly am is what all my limits keep me from expressing.
To be fully human is the way we become kind to ourselves and one another. It translates to empathy and compassion. But always remember that everyone, including you, are more than what we see. It is the gift we can give to each other, and ourselves.