Embarrassing moments? So many moments and so little time. When it comes to the phrase..."Oh the humanity!" I am practically the poster child.
It was a beautiful fall afternoon and the school bell had just rung. I was in the third grade and I was the new kid in class that year. My teacher told us the day before that there would be a tumbling class offered after school! I was so excited! Since girls back in the day only wore dresses and skirts, we were told to wear shorts under our skirts so we could be prepared to tumble in the gym. I was late getting into the cafeteria/gym because I stopped to chat with the custodian like I always did. He called me dimples and he seemed to want to chat with me from time to time. The tumbling teacher was instructing the group of kids from different grades when I came in. I saw the pile of skirts and took off my wool plaid skirt and quickly went and sat down in the circle. The room became uncomfortably quiet. Rather like the quiet when no one is breathing. I looked around to see everyone looking at me. Then the roar of laughter began. Evidently I had neglected to put on my shorts underneath my skirt that morning! I was sitting in front of my classmates and half the school in my underwear! (I have a long history of unfortunate underwear experiences) Ohhhhh the shame, the humanity. Sooooo I did what any self-respecting person of 8 years would do. I ran over to my skirt and put it on and ran home never to return to tumbling despite the fact that I really wanted to tumble.
This personal style of shame/humiliation and running away is in large measure why I have shared with my reader's posts regarding social anxiety. It is my hope that mostly I am not, the only wolf in the wilderness with these experiences but even if I am, I think it is important to work through them so you do not miss out on the myriad of adventures that awaits all of us. I have missed out on a lot of grand moments due to fear of humiliation.
I am noting some real successes of late. Recently I was meant to be attending a class given by a teacher I highly respect. Some of my friends and some complete strangers would be in attendance and I was having my usual struggle getting out the door. I was doing my laundry which included my outfit for the class when I realized I had gotten the time wrong. My outfit was barely in the dryer and my hair looked like I had stuck my finger in the light socket! Now normally I would have sent my regrets that I would be unable to attend and then been remorseful and angry at myself for days afterward. Nope! Not this time! I put on my wet clothes and went to the class. Oh sure it was uncomfortable when my friends hugged me and asked me if my clothes were wet but hey I showed up and was really glad that I did.
My guess is that you have stories just like mine. Embrace them. You may notice in social gatherings that your friends when they are done telling you how many hours they were in labor or the details of their root canal often turn to their moments of humiliation. You may also notice that everyone nods their head in agreement and laughs right along with you. This is key. They truly are laughing with you. Because they have been there too. I promise.
Our ability to envelope those bits of you that make you wince are critical. They give all of us greater compassion for one another. They create a feeling of warmth and love for the journey we are all making. It motivates us to nudge elbows even with complete strangers in the market when something awkward occurs. We say..."Been there."
That...brings peace to our soul. That peace? Brings greater peace to our Universe.
May peace be yours.
P.S. HELLO LOS GATOS!!! Thanks for the love Seattle! Romania? So nice to see so many of you. London, ByFleet, Woking I have just found my ancestors have hailed from a rural spot outside London (well some of them anyway) Can't wait to visit! Hello Beverly Hills!