Today’s post comes from freelance writer and motivational speaker, and mother of eight, Ellen Mongan.
Embarrassing moments seem to be a part of my everyday life. Maybe it is because I am a wordy woman; giving me prime opportunity to put my foot in my mouth. Or, maybe because I rarely remember to look before I leap. I leap anyways, often falling face first on the pavement, or off the pedestal I placed myself on in my imagination. Some people can put their best foot forward. Not me, usually I trip over it, not even landing gracefully. Learning to laugh at myself has become essential. If embarrassing moments don’t follow you; have children. I guarantee you that they have the ability to embarrass you without even trying.
This week alone I was given plenty of material on how to dance through two embarrassing moments. After tripping over my words in front of a stranger this week, I recovered by saying, “That is my first mistake of the day!” She questioned, “Do you do “Stand Up comedy”?” I politely smiled answering, “No, but I do write humor for Charm Magazine.” I quickly ran to the car to get her a copy of the magazine. Later I realized that the article was on the hugely serious side. That’s not all folks! I also backed out of a driveway only to discover that unfortunately it was Mail Box Down! Yes this happened to me. No, I did not see it or I would not have hit it in the first place. Apparently I am also driveway challenged. Sadly it was not my home.
Not to worry, I have had worse experiences than that. There was the time I was trying on a really cute skirt at a boutique and got my under garments caught in the zipper. There was the time I got in the wrong car, sat down in the passenger’s seat, only to realize that the man in the driver’s seat was not my daughter. There was the time I filled out a job application with the wrong name. It was not until the interviewer asked, “Is your last name really Money?” that I became aware of my mistake. It worked in my favor, as he became aware of how badly I needed employment. I could write volumes on how I have said the wrong thing at the wrong time, but I won’t bore you with the details. Plus, it would only embarrass me again.
In every life a little embarrassment will fall. Embarrassing moments pull you off your high horse down to the humble ground. Do not be surprised, nor be dismayed. The ability to crawl out of the pit of humiliations comes with practice. “Practice always makes perfect.” It is not the number of times you fall but rather the style used in getting up again. So live your life fully alive, look before you leap, and learn to laugh at yourself. “If you laugh the world laughs with you.” Everyone makes mistakes. Some people have a way of covering them up while other people’s mistakes stick out like a sore thumb. If it is your first mistake of the day, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again. Never let embarrassment steal away the ability to begin again.
Try as you may to avoid ever having another embarrassing moment, that would be as attainable as a pregnant woman avoiding labor. Sounds good, but unfortunately you cannot avoid the inevitable. So if you fall off your horse, hop back on and gallop with grace. Practice guarding your tongue or else learn to have the words, “I am sorry,” ever ready on your lips. Say the words with sincerity!
Everyday can be a challenging catastrophe or an amazing adventure to grow as a person. They say life is how you live it. I purpose to grow from my mistakes; to listen and learn as I go merrily along. How about you? If your friends were to describe you what adjective would they use? Behind your back do they say there goes Grumpy Gertrude or Joy-filled Joyce? Are you Wise and Witty Wendy or Opinionated Olivia? Do you bring doom and gloom into the atmosphere of the room, or lighten the load of a heavy conversation?
Learning to lighten up and focus on the positive may not only change your day, but also your life. Attitudes are catchy and good habits are adopted by following good examples. Words go in one ear and out the other silently. Actions always speak the loudest. To some, change is a challenge; to another change is a way of life. Maturity comes at a cost; the cost is willingness to grow in character. Somehow those who have journeyed the path of embarrassing moments begin to grow a heart of understanding right where “judgment” used to reside. After you have learned to laugh at yourself and not to sweat the small stuff; you are able to give others permission to do the same. If you are a wordy woman like me, who has journey along the path of embarrassing moments, you avoid saying to others, “I told you so!” You barely notice when others put their foot in their mouth. You practice being blind to other’s defects! If others fall into a pit or off their high horse, you quickly reach out a helping hand to rescue them. Life has taught you that it is probably only their first mistake of the day!