Sometimes I take myself a little too seriously. I analyze myself and my actions to death while beating myself up about my stupid mistakes. But over the last few years, with the help of my parents, my family and friends, I’m learning to look at my failures and silly as future funny stories and taking from them life application lessons.
My Favorite Aunt (as she informs me quite often) told me this when I turned 16:
“One thing that I hope for you is that you learn early in life that you are a work in progress. You will learn and improve through mistakes. There may be things in life that you aren’t good at, and there will be embarrassing moments. Now that I’m older I have learned to be self-deprecating, I can laugh at myself. It is a lot more fun than being stressed out or disappointed in who God made me.”
If only you knew all of the ways she has encouraged me to apply that. 🙂 Example: Her nickname for me is Amelia Bedelia. I hated that when I was little, but around 12 years old I saw that; one, my aunt called me that because she couldn’t think anything that rhymed with “Emily” so she went with Amelia; two, giving me a nickname is sign that she loves me, and; three, how many people have the nickname Amelia Bedelia?!
My cousin Cho (nickname) has also helped me in this area. Believe it or not, he even got me with the “if you say green beans slowly it sounds like gullible,” line. I will never ever, ever, ever , ever live that one down. But instead of getting defensive I poke fun of myself…and so does Cho. 🙂
Think about it, how many times have we all made some stupid “duh” comment in front of a bunch of people, received all of those “you’re such an idiot” looks and then fall all over ourselves instead of just saying “oops!” How many times have you pushed on a PULL door or pulled on a PUSH door (the last time I did that it was hilarious. I crack up every time I think about it.)? How many times have you tripped in front of a bunch of people? How many times have you run into a wall? because that can never be as bad as walking right smack into a sliding glass door thinking that it was open! It’s happened to me.
These are all the funny things that I know happen to everyone. I’m just learning to apply that in how I respond to those things.
But there is more to laugh at in life than just ourselves. A Jewish proverb states that, “It is better to laugh about your problems than to cry about them.”
I’ll give you a quick story to illustrate this. So, I’ve decided that my families “lot in life” is car trouble. It has actually come to a point of hilarity. We have had 3 DIFFERENT CARS BREAK DOWN THREE DIFFERENT TIMES IN BAKERSFIELD, CA. To be clear, these were not “Oops! Flat tire!” kind of break downs. These were transmission blow up, engine die completely, and transmission again kind of break downs. When my dad called from Bakersfield (the third time), both mom and I thought he was joking. When we discovered that he wasn’t, we started laughing. God totally has a sense of dry humor sometimes.
Please understand, I’m not saying that every problem that pops up in life you should always say “ha-ha,” shrug your shoulders and then move on. There are life situations, hurtful words etc. that simply cannot be “laughed off.” What I am saying is that life is just too short not to laugh at some of the ironic, silly, coincidental things that happen. Does that make sense?
Thanks to some silly things that I’ve done/said recently, yet another car break down last week (flat-tire with a trailer on the freeway on the way home from a camping trip), remembering my aunt’s advice and a final push from a Messy Monday’s video this morning it’s clear to me that this is something that God wants me to work on and remember in the day-to-day life experiences. Who knows, maybe he wants you to do the same.