When I left my apartment the other morning, ten minutes late for leading worship and therefore in a hurry, I noticed something feeling weird on the inside of my leg.
Naturally, being the lady that I am, I bent over and stuck my head in between my knees in the middle of the street — much to my husband’s dismay.
“Dammit!” I cried out. “My pants are about to split!”
Feeling equal parts brave and risque, I decided to forge forward with my 14 hour day and just chance it.
The worst that could happen, I decided, is that I would have to lead a prayer circle knowing full well that if I accidentally uncrossed my legs it would be totally inappropriate.
A normal person would have gone home and changed, I know. That is how normal people avoid embarrassing mishaps like crotch-less jeans in church. But I am not normal, nor do I embarrass all that easily.
For example, I once admitted to the Internet that I peed in the bathtub.
There was more to that story, but it doesn’t matter now so I’ll just leave it at that.
There are things we can do — as people who accept that things will not always go our way — to ensure that the odds are mostly in our favor. Things like checking our shoes for toilet paper before we leave the stall and making sure there’s no black-bean burrito in our teeth before kissing a date goodnight. But sometimes — even if we aren’t the mortified type — on occasion, we’ll go red in the face.
Take my History of the Roman Empire class for example. I could only be so prepared for embarrassment without knowing anything, right? I showed up to my second ever class feeling very competent because — unlike Elle Woods — I had done the preperational (not a real word, I know) readings. Imagine my surprise, then, when it was only after I gave my presentation on the Nag Hammadi Gospels (“Hammadi writes this, Hammadi writes that, Hammadi clearly thinks,” etc.) I realized Nag Hammadi wasn’t a person, but a place.
Or, when I tried to be smart in my admissions essay and claimed one of my theological influences was “Arianathus” — meaning Athanasius — and then realized my history prof was actually on the admissions board and would call my bluff immediately because never in a million years would I know anything about Arianathus, an ancient bishop who isn’t even Google-able, or Athanasius, some guy from a long time ago with nice opinions.
Or, when I fell on the dance floor at my high school reunion and, instead of standing up, decided to do a floor dance and show everyone my Spanx.
Or, when I lie about knowing all the words to a song and then someone hits mute to hear me sing and I’m all like “birds sing and dance and la di da, farmer in the well.”
Or, when I Instagram a bath pic thinking I’ve been all sneaky because you can’t see a single body part and then realize my entire left boob is visible in the reflection on the faucet.
Or, elevator farts.
I mean, really, sometimes these moments just happen. Life is hilarious and messy like that.
So what do we do about it?
Well, sometimes we crawl into a hole and wish for death. Other times we pretend we’re wearing an invisibility cloak. Other times we make excuses . . . a lot of excuses. All of these things work on the surface (except the death one). We walk away putting it out of our minds. We “move on.”
But the best thing we can do? The thing we can do that won’t bring it back around to us when we’re doing shadow work or therapy or half-hearted morning meditation? We can laugh. And we can laugh not to make ourselves feel better about it, but because it’s legitimately funny and we spend too much time taking ourselves more seriously than necessary. It’s human, and if we just remind ourselves for a second how small we are in the vast scheme of things we will quickly realize there is no benefit in wasting a precious moment of this gift of existence on feeling anything other than the emotions we were intended to feel.
Love. KinLove, SexyLove, GriefLove, FriendLove, SadLove, LostLove, MagicLove, PassionateLove, AdventureLove, FoodLove, NatureLove, BeautyLove, InstagramLove, PainLove, StrongLove, AchievmentLove, FavoriteSongLove, TravelLove, SleepingLove, WideAwakeLove, JoyLove, BigLove & MORE LOVE.
People have such a bizarre complex when it comes to shame. It’s deeply personal and deeply dark . . . and we treat it like the plague. But what if we didn’t have to? What if embarrassment — or its older cousin shame — were just par for the course? What if we treated embarrassing moments like the gifts they really are? An earthly reminder that this is what we have, this is who we are and either way, WeAreLove.