Posted on April, 28th 2011 by Marie
My husband, God bless him, has been on a mission all his life to express himself. Lately he has discovered a new method – and it has been a bit tough for our 15 year old son to take: It involves driving down parking lots and driveways, with the windows down, blasting loud music and dancing around in the driver’s seat with a look of sheer madness on his face. It does not help that the favorite music chosen for this rite of embarrassment passage is of such caliber that it per definition is not just un-cool – but totally mortifying for the young lad. Our teenage son basically shrivels up in the seat to hide himself from view when this ritual is in full swing.
So, yesterday as the car drove up in front of our house, our teenage son was sporting red splotches on his cheeks from embarrassment. He pushed his way into the house, staring at the ground in a severely bad mood. This is what had happened: Dad had driven around dancing in the seat with the windows down. As the rich and sensuous sounds of Norwegian pop from the late 80’s were blasting from the car – horror of horrors – one of our son’s friends had seen him – and heard the heretical music emanating from the car just as my husband had chimed in with the high note singing along….
I guess the philosophy behind this treatment is that if our son sees that it is ok to act completely silly, he will either leave us forever, or eventually learn that it is ok to be yourself – no matter how silly – no matter how you appear to be out of sync with the rest of cultured civilization! That you are actually super cool if you just are you – and develop immunity to ridicule!!
And this made me think… Many of us from time to time come into contact with elements of this teenage phase of feeling vulnerable to what others think about us. We might shudder at the thought of “sticking out like a sore thumb” or acting conspicuously – yet at the same time we also really want to be “outstanding” – and really, how can we do anything outstanding if we are afraid to stand out? In order for us to tap into any kind of personal excellence, we also have to accept that this means leaving obscurity behind. We cannot always hide in the corners of our unremarkable ways, if we want to tap our intrinsic brilliance. We cannot shine if we continue to cover up our light.
Now if we are lusting after a world of mediocrity and conformity – let us keep hiding. But if we want to experience the fullness and joy of life – We have to leave the boring safety hiding under the dashboard with red splotches of embarrassment on our face. We have to get out there and sing with the car windows down, dancing in our seats and allow life to flow through us. Guess what – the worst that can happen is that we bring a smile to somebody’s face.
Take on meee, Taaaaake me ooooon, I’ll be gone…..