I have this amazing client. We will call him James for the purpose of privacy. He has a brilliant analytical mind. Built a business over the last 20+ years by being direct, honest, and data-driven. Emphasis on data driven. During a session, he shared that he had been playing piano for 5 or so decades. He spoke first about the importance of regular practice. Then we shared about the mathematics of music and the mechanics and acoustics of the actual instrument. Then he started to talk about one of his favorite pieces to play. Quite suddenly his eyes filled with tears and he got choked up. He seemed a little uncomfortable. Honestly, I was completely surprised.

In all of our time working together, I had never seen him become overcome by emotions before. Other clients yes, but not him. He showed up open hearted, but he also had been slightly reserved, formal, and analytical in our conversations. The fullness of his humanity was beautifully and vulnerably revealed. It was tempting to school my face to be more neutral and to hide my surprise. Instead, I let my eyes stay wide and my smile be soft. Then I energetically opened my heart more than it already was so he could feel the caring and curiosity I had about his realness.

We spoke a bit about how music has been a place of solace, freedom, and fully self-expression for many years. He lets his guard down when he plays. I was struck after he left how peaceful his energy felt to me after this exchange. It reminded me that being human can be messy but beautiful. It can be unpredictable, at times uncomfortable, inexplicable and confusing, but also joyful, weird, and sometimes filled with delight. Like when you are someone who typically shows up in the outside world as logical, focused, and formal. It is how you know yourself and how you let others know you. Then you play piano and your artistic, emotional, and free-spirited self gets to play within that logical and focused and analytical self. Your wholeness becomes present.

Some time after that session, James shared that he had become curious how he could be more fully himself more often. It isn’t that he dislikes his logical parts. He actually appreciates that characteristic as it has served his business and relationships. He has a high level of integrity. You can count on him. However, practicing being more vulnerable and emotionally available in his marriage creates a depth of connection he has wanted. Instead of being cautious to keep that part of himself hidden, he has been practicing listening to his inner wisdom versus focusing only on his brain.

It is very inspiring to witness someone embracing all of themselves aka learning to love their humanity. I also find it a bit confronting too. I am a bit like James though. There are different parts of myself that don’t always show up at the same time. Loving my humanity means I get to practice loving all the parts of myself.

Currently, I am practicing embracing the part of me that gets JOMO (joy of missing out). She needs permission to cancel things. I am way more used to giving my extroverted “on” part of myself center stage. I am practicing expressing and allowing my soft and vulnerable parts to be present. I am way more used to thinking I have to be capable, confident, and strong 100% of the time. I am also giving my emotional side some space. She feels things deeply. I don’t have to be happy or joyful all the time. It is total BS to think I even can be. Do ya feel me?

Do you have parts of yourself that you could love more? What would loving your humanity look like?