13 Core Rules For Being Human
We’re all in this together, trying to flourish, get through, dodge the cave-ins and use the bumps in the road as a ramp to lift off.
Wherever we’re at and whoever we’re with, there are some rules that are an unavoidable part of being human. They unite us, connect us and when we embrace them, are a way to feel less like we have to do any of this crazy, messy, beautiful, being human thing on our own.
13 Rules For Being Human
Rule 1). A relationship is everything.
People are meant to be with people. We’re meant to love them, like them, miss them, trust them, open up to them, learn from them, walk towards, walk away and sometimes, the hardest by far, get over them. Growth happens in the space between ourselves and another. It’s where we learn to love, trust, risk, find our limits and push against them. Don’t be scared to open up to it. It’s where the wild, beautiful things are.
Rule 2). We all have our armor. (Other people too.)
Things won’t always work out the way we want them to but when they do, the risk will always be worth it. A lot of life is missed from the sidelines, waiting for the right time, the right opportunity, the right moment, the right person. Be daring and be brave. We all have our armor and it will always be there if you need it – just be careful not to grab it too soon – or leave it on for too long.
Sometimes the people we meet will have theirs on so tight to their skin, it will take a lot of commitment, tenderness, and patience to see what lies beneath it. Sometimes it will take too much. Too much armor will make the wearer worn down, untrusting and brittle. Being on the receiving end of this will feel like it’s personal. It’s not. It’s the result of one too many heartaches.
Growth happens in the space between ourselves and another.
If you’re the one wearing your armor too tight, make sure the reasons you’re wearing it are still valid, and not left over from sadder, lonelier, more painful times. People can’t love you if you don’t let them in. And that’s a hefty price to pay for the protection of old wounds.
Rule 3). We all have a body. Best learn to love it.
There is only one body like yours on the entire planet – and you own it – so that makes it a pretty precious commodity. Look after it and get to know it well. Above all else, love it. You can’t take care of something you don’t like. Either we can treat it well or we can treat it with delicious bad carbs and luscious, lazy days on the couch. I’m all for a bit of both. But note to the universe, when it comes to taking care of this body of mine, if exercise had the side of effect of, you know, making me love exercise or something, things would be a whole lot easier, so you might want to work on that.
Rule 4). We’ll all get our hearts broken.
There are lessons we need to learn. Oh I know – some days that makes me want to throw up too but it’s true. A broken heart means this one wasn’t good enough, so learn what you need to learn so you can be ready for the one that is. Be grateful that he moved out of the way so you can see the one you deserve when he comes towards you.
Give yourself time to heal and to learn about what brings out the best of you in a relationship. Look at what it is that drew you to that person, what changed – about you, him or her – what felt bad, what felt good, what you want more of, less of, none of. If you learn nothing, the risk is that you’ll be drawn to the same people, with the same baggage (yours and theirs), live out the same type of relationship and go through the same type of ending. And really, that’s such a waste of you.
Everything we need to survive life and flourish is in us.
Rule 5). We’re all on a (big breath) journey, but sometimes things are just freaking unfair.
Confession. I actually hate that word – ‘journey’ – when it’s used like that. I hate it more than alarm clocks. ‘Journey’ is too much of a ‘holiday’ word and holiday words tend to suggest that you can opt out of the ‘carry your own stuff’ option but life isn’t like that. We all have to carry our stuff. What’s important is not carrying too much of anyone else’s.
We’re all here to grow and to learn lessons and generally, lessons don’t come wrapped in something sweet with a ‘Here’s a little reminder for when you’re ready, Gorgeous,’ card on the top. They come with a smash and a bang, or whatever it takes to get our attention. Nearly always (maybe always) they come to us by way of the relationship. Beauty will always emerge from chaos, eventually.
Rule 6). Everything we need is in us. (But sometimes it’s cake. Ourselves and cake.)
Everything we need to survive life and flourish is in us. Sometimes it’s layered under the losers we’ve loved, the lessons we’ve taken on but shouldn’t have, or the rules we no longer need but still live by.
If the things you’ve always done, or the rules you’ve always abided by are causing you trouble, it might be time to let them go. Maybe. Too many times we let things sit there and claim a space in us, even though they offer us nothing at all. Take a fresh look at things. If something isn’t working for you anymore, get rid of it. The things that will work will be quick to take its place. This might feel awkward for a while and that’s okay. Like new shoes, new ways of being in the world need to be worn in. Don’t hang on to the ones that are blistering your soul when there is something there that will nurture it beautifully if you let it.
Every person on the planet has had to go through something.
Rule 7). There’ll be bumps in the road.
There’ll be bumps in the road. Wish there wasn’t, but there will be. You’ll have two options – over or through. Actually, there is a third option – to stand still, but that will only diminish you, never the bump. When there’s something in your way, chances are that you won’t feel okay okay until you’re safe and sound on the other side. Bumps aren’t called bumps because they feel good. They’re called bumps because they’re jarring and sometimes they hurt. Like any bump in any road though, sometimes the only way through is through. But however big that bump might be, there is always smooth ground on the other side.