Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Voice of Bozo

All of us, at one time or another have walked out of the bathroom, dragging a piece of toilet paper on our shoe unknowingly! I mean this literally and/or metaphorically. Who would do that on purpose, right? I had the delight of having our children with me this past week and whenever we get together we often laugh about those times that we unknowingly play the part of the bozo. It's the walking and chewing gum at the same time dilemma we occasionally all stumble over. There are so many ways to react to the times when we embarrass ourselves but I have come to believe the optimum response is laughter. Making fun of your personal faux pas can be empowering or shameful, depending upon how you see them.

Years ago, when I was in the throes of a major life change at the age of 22 (I was deciding whether or not to become a single mom) I wrote a poem about the need to be bleached. As I work and spiritually counsel others, I suggest to them that life is messy. By way of religious training or societal or parental demands for perfection we end up being uncomfortable with our imperfections, even embarrassed or shamed by them. To stay perfect and bleached, I hugged my authentic self to me and refused the let the bozo out of the bag. But, unknowingly, the bozo was not IN the bag but prancing around me and completely out in the open. That personal bozo of mine was holding up two fingers behind my head while the rest of the world was taking my picture!

I believe that I have come to this place that while I do not want to embarrass myself or do something stupid for the world to see, I also know that I am only human. Flawed in all my Divine perfection, I have come to love my personal bozo. She is delightful and tickles my funny bone and makes me laugh and feel at ease with my messy life. Without laughter, without permission to be imperfect, we shrink. And like the vacuum seal bags that we can put blankets in so they will fit under our beds, we end up trying to "fit" and we take the air out of our life. It might be a good exercise for all of us to pull out that oxygen deprived bag and laugh at our crazy, insane, flawed, and messy life. Therein lie the riches we all seek.

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