September 14, 2014

Accepting the Heaviness of Being Human. ~ Callie Egland

Photo: alan O'Rourke via Flickr

We want to be happy.

That is every single human’s goal from the very beginning when we were in the supermarket with our mom begging her to please get us that new, shiny toy that will, without a doubt, bring more happiness into our life.

Sometimes we have everything we want and we still feel crummy and don’t know why.

This is not another example of a spiritual “out” on suffering. To be honest, I’m sick of hearing all of the reasons and ways to not suffer:

Live in the moment!  

Do yoga!  


Be a vegetarian!  

Be a minimalist

Be non-attached!   

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt bad or sad or lazy and gone through the laundry list of spiritual things to make myself feel better and when all is said and done I don’t necessarily feel any less bad than I did before.

Let’s stop wishing for it to go away. Let’s stop telling ourselves we shouldn’t feel this way. We are human after all, and along with being human comes feeling heavy.

I don’t mean heavy in a sense of weight. I mean heavy in a sense of sometimes day-to-day life feels emotionally heavy.  Sometimes getting out of bed in the morning sucks. Sometimes it seems there’s nothing to look forward to.  Sometimes we just have to deal with it.

I’ve spent the latter years of my life fully immersing myself in yoga, the spiritual teachings of the Buddha, vegetarianism, Eckhart Tolle’s enlightening works, and an overall healthy lifestyle. This has brought me peace and happiness beyond my wildest dreams at times.

At other times I still feel bad and I don’t know why.

How could I still feel this way? To answer my own question, it goes with the territory of the heaviness of being human. The only thing remaining to do is to peel back the layers.

Since becoming “enlightened,” if you will, in my recent years, I’ve ridded myself of a lot of things that don’t serve me.  In return I’ve become aware of some extra layers surrounding the unhappiness that just makes it feel worse. Now, rather than just being unhappy at times, I feel guilty about it. I get mad at myself for it.

Someone who has gained all of this miraculous knowledge on leading a spiritual life shouldn’t be sitting on the couch feeling sorry for herself!

This is how we add to our unhappiness: by getting unhappy about being unhappy.

And to this I say, “No more!”

Next time we’re feeling crummy can we just take the time to baby ourselves?  Tell ourselves, “It’s okay that you don’t feel good today, you might not feel better tomorrow either, but as long as you do or don’t feel good I will love you and I will take care of you.”

Practicing this lately has brought a lot of relief.

Are we going to feel bad sometimes because it comes with the territory of being human? Yes.

Let’s just take the time to allow that to be okay, allow ourselves to be the humans that we are and accept the heaviness of it.


Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Apprentice Editor: Kim Haas / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Alan O’Rourke via Flickr

Read 7 Comments and Reply

Read 7 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Callie Egland