Yesterday morning I woke up, got dressed, packed an overnight bag, got on the New York State thruway and headed to Albany for our church denomination Annual Conference. I got to Albany just in the nick of time and walked in to the hotel. I felt pretty confident in my appearance so of course I stood a little bit taller. I walked past many people. I mean many many people. I meant many many many people. I mean there was a line of people I passed right before I walked into the room where services were being held. So you can imagine my surprise, after walking past all of those people, when one of my sister’s stopped me right before I was about to take my seat and said ” Sis, I think you might have a hole in your skirt right in the back. It was in such a fabulous location. It was front and centered”. She proceeded to put her finger through the hole and said “yup it’s a hole”. So I went to my seat to think of the master get away plan. While pondering the greatest escape of all time I was asked to go get something out of someone’s car. At that point I had one of four options and before you ask yes all four came to mind in about a five second period:
Option A: Turn around, get in the car, find and an airport, get on a rocket, and head to the moon because of the embarrassment and send the requested item back by taxi. Drastic- I think not.
Option B: Turn around, get in the car, find the New York State thruway, head home, and send the requested item by taxi.
Option C: Turn around, pass out, and go to the nearest hospital , and send the requested item back by taxi. (Maybe a bit dramatic but hey I’m sure we’ve all thought this thought – or maybe it’s just me).
Option D: Stand tall and turn around. Walk confidently yet swiftly to my car. Go to the person’s car for the requested item and then to the vacant portion of a parking lot. Grab and put the only other skirt I had with me and keep it moving.
Now before I tell you which option I choose lets me tell you a few things.
I used to be really shy and easily embarrassed and something like this would have taken me clean completely out. Like to the point where a mother would have placed a sheet over me. (Only my saints will understand this)
Previously when an embarrassing moment would occur even when the memory had long past and the world has moved on I would still be reliving the moment over and over again.
Despite what I said, the look on my face, and the “I don’t care what other people said about me” statement I often made I really did care about others perception of me. Someone else’s thoughts of me really did matter and mattered often times more than my perception of myself. Someone believing I did not care about myself or my appearance would somehow to me translate to me not caring about myself at all.
So there I was with my four options to choose from. Three of which involved me leaving and one involved me standing. So you know which option I took. Option D. In my JJ voice (from the tv show Good Times) I said The D stood for Dy-no-mite. I was determined to not dwell on what was because at that point I did not have time for that. I hopped in the car and handled my business by switching skirts and kept it moving. In between dinner and the evening service I ran to the nearest JC Penney (come through JC Penney). I grabbed a skirt that was marked $19.49. While walking to the registered I thought “God please allow this skirt to be even cheaper than this price” because you know I’m currently in transition and a wardrobe change was not written into my budget. So there I was standing in a long line and when it was my turn the young man scanned the ticket and said ” Ma’am your total is $6.23″. That’s right ladies and gentlemen I was able to make a decision, keep it moving despite the embarrassment, and it only cost me $6.23. It did not cost me: traveling back to Syracuse after already driving 2 hours to get there. It did not cost me the embarrassment of not wanting to be around others. It I did not cost me the mental capacity of worrying trying to figure out if I made someone’s Instagram,Facebook, or Snapchat. My cost of keeping it moving simply cost me to things: shrugging off the feelings of embarrassment and $6.23.
Ever found yourself in an embarrassing position such as this? Are you currently facing an embarrassing situation? What will you response be? Will you run? Will you hide? Will you consider locating your nearest airport so that you can go to Mars to begin again? Loving yourself means that you have to love yourself enough to withstand embarrassingly awkward moments. Loving yourself means loving yourself enough to stand tall until confidence comes. Loving yourself means to loving yourself means loving yourself enough to not dwell on embarrassing moments but press forward because the moment really is not all that important. Loving yourself simply means that the embarrassment will not prevent us from thinking and acting naturally. The more we learn how to handle these moments the easier the moments can roll behind us each time they occur.
Challenge: Take 5 minutes and meditate. Clear your mind. Grab your journal and set your timer to 15 minutes.Write what comes to mind with no filter. Think of your most recent embarrassing situation. Did you (like me) have a hole in your skirt (or pants for my brothers)? Did you fall down a group of stairs in front of people? Have you ever said something you had no business saying? When the feeling of embarrassment came what was your initial thoughts? What were your initial actions? Did you run and flee? Did you stand? Can you find ways to handle embarrassment differently? Is this a habit for you? Identify three things you can do to handle these embarrassing situations better.