Stop Proving It. Just Be It.
by Rishe Groner
We’re human beings, not human doings, goes the saying that changed my life. A saying we can’t attribute to anyone in particular because every wise person says it, hears it, knows its importance and passes it on to others. And in our age of guru worship, how common is it to always look for the person who said something, rather than focusing on how to integrate it into our lives?
We live our lives in fight or flight. Taught from a young age that it’s not okay to just be, that we can’t simply breathe and take up space without being useful, meaningful, important, popular, pretty, thin, successful, somehow, we look for things to do, or reasons to be told we’re not okay.
Our bodies tense, our muscles are pulled taught, our jaws clench and our brows furrow as our eyes stare out into the world at That Which is the Other, that which is going to Hurt us and Maim us and tell us that we are not okay, simply for being.
We sit with our friends and laugh without feeling, wondering if we’ll be called out for not quite getting the joke. We nod our heads in meetings at work, afraid of being singled out for an explanation when we haven’t quite been paying attention. We mumble back at our partners when they call out to us from across the room in fear of hurting their feelings rather than creating clear communication, and the entire time, our spirits suffer.
Conversations unravel into tales of one-upmanship, expressing our own awesomeness without truly listening to the other. We move into the defense in our strategy and planning conversations, always certain our ideas won’t be heard, won’t be understood, won’t be actualized the precise way we envision them in our minds, sure that the others are out to get us.
In this life of fight or flight, we forget that the hard part is already over. We’ve already said our piece.
And the inevitable onslaught that we expect to ensue is never going to happen.
Because we spend so much time trying to prove it, we forget to be it.
We forget to simply embody the love we want to show our partners, instead of defending ourselves with stories of why that time we forgot the milk wasn’t because we don’t love them, but because we are human beings, who love with our imperfections. We forget to simply lead by doing in our jobs, instead citing justifications for every initiative we take, rather than becoming leaders who shape organizations by owning up to our shortcomings and surpassing them each day with constant improvement. We forget to simply listen to our friends and radiate compassion for their struggles, instead of looking for ways to explain to them why all these terrible things are happening to them, or us, or everyone.
We forget that by simply being love, we don’t have to try so hard to act like it. We can become love by acting like love, certainly. But if we simply start by being it, we aren’t pretending anymore. We radiate it. We are it.
Often, we spend so much time justifying, proving, explaining, expressing, we forget to get the job done. We forget that by virtue of the fact that we’re in this conversation, the work is already done. That by simply being here, we’ve already proven our point.
The lover who shows up to apologize has no words to say. His words are uttered by simply being here.
The manager who rallies to empower her team needs not list her credentials before making every decision, to explain why it’s the right one. The teacher who stands up to educate their students does not cite their published papers to justify the technique, nor does the parent list the genetic material they contributed to bring their child to life. They only stand here because they deserve to be.
We’ve all been chosen by this magic cosmic experiment called life, to be in it. To be here, as we are. To be in this universe, in this experience, in this moment.
We’re here, because we deserve to be. Because we’re meant to be. Because this is why the entire universe is in existence, for this moment.
It’s time to stop trying so hard to prove it.
And simply start being it.
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