Just Being Human

I am a human being, not a human doing. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t…you aren’t. – Dr. Wayne Dyer

When I came across this quote by Wayne Dyer, I immediately thought I don’t want to be a human doing all the time. It is so easy to become caught up in life, always working, never feeling able to take time to relax and simply enjoy life. When it comes right down to it, family and friends should always be at the top of our list. As important as writing is to my life, it can’t be all there is. Suppose for some reason I was no longer able to write, I would like to think that some other area in my life would replace that void, but I do know for a fact that my family would never replace it because they are far more important.

I sometimes think we can become so consumed by following our passion that we forget there is much more to life. Sometimes it’s as if we wear blinders, keeping our eye on that one goal in life. We hunger for it. We forget the more important things in life. This past week spent with Miss Charlotte helped put things in perspective for me yet again. Since my daughter and her husband live in another province being grandparents is a bit of a challenge. I only hope that Miss Charlotte will come to know us in a way that our kids knew their grandparents who lived quite handy. Not as easy to do with the distance between us, but luckily the Internet makes it is much easier.

One of the nice things about having Miss Charlotte home was having our other children visit during that time, and knowing that, they too, are building a relationship with their little niece despite the distance. It may not be a prefect situation, but we’re making the best of it. With any luck Miss Charlotte will come to think of “Ant Grub” and “Uncle Mutt” as two very important people in her life.

Tomorrow we’re off to Halifax Word on the Street. We’ll spend the day with our son, say hi to some authors who will be reading, and hopefully get some great pictures to share.

The really best things in life simply happen when we pause for a time and stop being human doings and allow ourselves to simply be human beings.

Do you ever find yourself becoming caught up in “doing” instead of “being?” What helps to put life in  the right perspective for you?

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  1. I feel like a human doing more than I care to think. Perspective and priorities need some tweaking.

  2. My life is often centred around the ‘doing’, but the reason is usually the day job, not the writing. I’m learning to carve out ‘being’ time and it is definitely worth it. I’m learning to put away the work, and do something simple for an hour, such as get out the knitting needles, or turn on my mp3 player and read, or make a Netflix episode of Top Gear a nightly family ritual–we all get a good laugh, and nothing’s better than that.

    • That sounds like a great idea, Heather. I agree when we have a day job it really seems to make us feel as though we need to be always doing something productive when we’re at home. Of course there are always things to do in the house. Letting go of that and simply being is a challenge.

  3. Wow, can I relate. I live in BC and my baby and his baby live in New Brunswick. It breaks my heart that our new grandchild will be over a month old before I get to hold him. And–who knows when I’ll see him again. My son is a sergeant in the Army and has a good life with his wife and son. Relinquishing my close contact with him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. It’s still a struggle. But I believe that what could get me down is a reminder of how precious life is in every moment. The good and the bad.

    Great post, Laura. I’ve enjoyed many of Dr. Dyer’s books. I’ve read most of Tolle’s too. Both gentlemen have much to offer.

    • I can’t imagine being that far away, Joylene. That would be so difficult, and yet we have to accept circumstances for what they are and relish each precious moment that comes our way.

  4. I have a busy day job, so its all too easy to get caught up in the “doing.” What pulls me back into “being” are my students. Sometimes they just want to talk to me like a person, rather than just a teacher. Those moments are golden . . . it’s worth it to take a few minutes away from all the work to sit and talk to them. With class sizes getting larger and larger, its getting harder to distinguish one face from the next. When I can talk to them about a favorite movie or what they did over the weekend, there is a chance to just “be” and connect.

    • C.B. you have my utmost respect. Teaching is a very challenging profession and even more so today. It’s nice that you get to connect with your students and get to see them as real people and in turn they get to know you, too. The one thing I have discovered since the publication of my book is that, no matter who we are or what we do, we are all very much the same deep down inside, We are all just people doing what we do. This reminder so helps me when I meet another writers whose work I admire. It used to be I was nervous whenever I met a published author until I became one myself.

  5. We ALL get caught up in DOING rather than just BEING. My hope is that I start to recognize it more often than not :D

  6. I can so relate to this post, Laura. I’m training for a fight right now, and it pretty much consumes my life, by necessity. So the moments I have out of the gym are so precious. I appreciate every moment I can spare with my little family (boyfriend and two kitties) so much, and don’t bother making plans with others. Family is everything right now until life returns to normal again.

    It’s been an interesting challenge and process to go through, but I don’t think I’ll do it again. I need my life to have more balance in order to be truly happy and content.

    • Some experiences are like that, Holli. We end up being glad for the experience itself, realizing that it will be a one time thing. I’ve been reading your post about kick-boxing, and it seems like a very consuming thing for you. It sounds as though you are managing to keep grounded, and not lose sight of the really important things. I’m proud of how hard you are working for this goal of yours. I’m sure you are, too. :)


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