Few things embarrass me in life anymore. I think I am embarrassed out. I have been embarrassed to the point of humiliation with secrets real or not real put on public display, told to family and friends.. It is pretty much impossible to embarrass me anymore. I think back on the different stages in life, and different things that embarrassed me.
I remember when I was about 10 I was playing in a guitar recital and right before going on stage a string broke on my guitar. I borrowed someone elses but it threw me off. After playing the first wrong note I became more flustered, my fingers trembled and I couldn’t find the right string no matter how hard I tried. Soon tears flowed down my face as I saw my family in the audience and knew I was really blowing the performance. They still clapped, we had ice cream afterwards and my brother even let me win at Atari. It was an embarrassing moment but my family got me through it.
I remember babysitting for this really great family. They invited me for dinner and we had tacos. It was the first time I had ever had a taco and I was excited they liked me enough to have me come spend time with them. I took one bite of my taco and it fell apart…so did I. I felt stupid, I was embarrassed. Years later I laugh at myself. Worrying they wouldn’t like me because I didn’t know how to eat a taco…I went on to babysit for them many times. I loved the kids and thought the parents were so great. I still consider them friends, and check in on their lives on Facebook. That experience helped me realize embarrassing moments aren’t the end of the world. Even the coolest family I knew could like me after I cried about not knowing how to eat a taco (cause you know just being embarrassed by the taco crumbling my body had to embarrass me more by uncontrollably crying when I got embarrassed…I had friends that would turn bright red, or others that would start to stutter…embarrassing moments seem horrifying at the time) At least experiences like this make past embarrassing experiences seem so much less traumatic.
Then we have new embarrassing moments that win the prize and replace your previous moments…I flashed my entire church congregation my chest during a talent show performance. It took me months to show my face again at church. Some of the people that were there are dear friends to me now. Not once did they make me feel embarrassed. I am able to laugh about it using it as an example in talks I give to youth.
Some embarrassing moments will never get to the point of being able to laugh at them. My life at points fell apart very publicly and very privately. It was embarrassing. I could barely look people in the face before, I couldn’t face them at all afterwards. I have some of my closest friends and deepest relationships with family because they were still there no matter how ashamed I was or what was said. After going through that experience and now having my life and loved ones… I appreciate life so much more. I understand myself and accept myself so much more.
Embarrassing moments when they happen seem devestating. But as we reflect on the experiences of life it won’t be what embarrassing thing we did that will stay in our memory. It will be the ice cream sundaes made afterwards or the funny card that arrived in the mail the next day. It will be the people who made the next moment fun and you’ll eventually see life is not about the bad moments, it is about the people who make the next moment better.