Welcoming Awkwardness

on October 20 | in Individual Improvement | by | with Comments Off on Welcoming Awkwardness

Awkward Giraffe :)
By Greg Willis from Denver, CO, USA (Uploaded by russavia)
[CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

How interesting it is when an entire morning seems uncomfortable in its skin! Well, perhaps the skin was mine. 🙂

This morning, my son got extremely sad as he headed off to school with Mama. He wanted to stay with me, even though I couldn’t play because I had to work. I spent some extra time describing the fun we’d have when he gets home, and I was profoundly touched.

Later, my friend described his current difficulties and I didn’t know what to say. I know how I think he should proceed, but I also know my ideas for resolution aren’t welcome because they don’t fit his ideas. So, I just listened.

Moments ago, I sat outside with the hummingbirds and bees, warmed by the sun. Then a cloud blocked out the sun and a honey bee landed on my arm – and I absentmindedly scratched at it, so it stung me. I came back inside smiling to myself.

Because, dear hearts, these moments are at the very core of life. Every congested interaction is a sibling of every fluid exchange. Every mental confusion sits around the same fire as the moments of naked, honest vulnerability. Each momentary lapse of consciousness is the winter before and after the summer of complete mental unity.

While all seekers of the light welcome the moments when the borders vanish and the divisions shatter, we must also welcome the moments when we wonder again who we are or what we’re doing. Our relationships with our family, friends, and the wild creatures are all subject to fluctuation – they arise and subside, just as do the mortal things sharing these connections. There is no connection without occasional awkwardness. In fact, the less you identify yourself as a role, the less often you know “just what to do.”

Welcoming awkwardness means happily accepting that there’s, very often, nothing to be done. It’s beautiful, because most relationships are at their best when we’re simply companionably co-existing.

Perhaps, in the pursuit of the ideal of an “enlightened being” or a “compassionate spirit”, I haven’t fulfilled “my potential” today. But I’ve quite enjoyed watching my clumsy, bumbling mind walking this little road and wouldn’t change a thing about it. This too is what I mean by welcoming awkwardness.

In honest human connection, there must be awkwardness. In honest human love, there must be loss. This isn’t tragedy, dear hearts. These are the edges that define the jewels and give them beauty.

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