Being Put In The Spotlight

He walked over to me, took the apples out of my hand, put them back on the stand and said, “un momento”. It was the first time I had walked into one these mini markets (verdureria). I noticed there were no plastic bags or baskets for me to put the fruit and vegetables in. How did this work? I figured, I would start by picking out some apples, walk over to the front to pay, surely the cashier would give me a bag and then I would know for next time. No such luck! I was so embarrassed, everyone just stopped and stared at me. My first thought was to leave, tell him he did not have to be so direct and go to a supermarket. What good would that do, I did not speak Spanish, he did not understand English. I would end up embarrassing myself more. I decided to stay and have fun with it. The ice was already broken, I succeeded in putting myself in the spotlight! I was the one who was new to this and the one who needed to adapt to their ways, not the other way around. Besides the fruit and vegetables here are of a much better quality than in the supermarket.

Once the store cleared out he came to see me. I started playing charades, acting out the motion of placing an apple in a bag. I had him laughing so hard, he realized that I was not from Buenos Aires, soon his wife joined us and she to was laughing. I couldn’t quite tell you exactly what they were saying but it looked like they were trying to make me feel comfortable, as if to say, “it’s ok”. I noticed he took a bag from the back of the counter and chose the apples for me. I immediately understood that it is not self service! I was suppose to wait to be served, tell him what I want and he would bag the fruits and vegetables for me. When I realized this, I couldn’t stop laughing at myself. I must of come off as someone who thinks I can do what I want wherever I go. I couldn’t stop apologizing for my behavior. He was not being rude, he was just caught in the middle of 2 customers, trying to let me know I would be next. Since it was unfamiliar to me, my first perception was that he was rude. They were, however, the most friendliest people. We all laughed together! As he picked the fruit and vegetables I pointed to, he named each one so that I would learn the Spanish name for them. They had a fruit there that I did not recognize. I asked “que es?”.  They saw the confused look on my face, so, gave me 2 to try. It is incredible how much of a good time you can have by just letting yourself go, not worry about being silly and laugh at yourself.

Having the courage to do things that others consider silly, shows that you believe you can make it work. The ones who tell you that you are crazy, are just trying to stop you from being different and impose their beliefs on you. Be different, the only risk you are taking, is the risk of finding who you really are.

When you can laugh at yourself, your tension will immediately disappear. You accept your imperfections and of those around you. By not taking things personally, you live a more carefree life.

Had I gotten angry when I was told to wait and left the store, it would have ruined my day. It would have probably upset the owner of the store as well. By hanging around and waiting to see what he had to say, I ended up making new friends and having a new funny story to tell! I also left the store owner with his own funny story to tell!

In his book Man’s Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl portrays humor as being the best medicine for survival. He tells the story of when he was held prisoner at a Nazi concentration camp during War World II. The prisoners were regularly beaten and tortured. He describes how they found humor when taken to the showers and water started to run. “They made fun about each other and about themselves over their ridiculously naked bodies…” He used humor to make an uncomfortable and hopeless situation more bearable.

Remember the last time you laughed at yourself following an awkward or upsetting situation? How did it feel to able to laugh?

If you have not experienced this,try it! When you find yourself in a situation that would normally upset you, take on a different approach. Let yourself step outside of the situation. The next time you are walking, hurrying to get to work, all of a sudden a car drives right next to you in a puddle and you get splashed, LAUGH! I know what you are thinking, it is not funny! You are all wet and you have to go to work. It is true, it is not pleasant, but, you will dry off. So, get upset, but, then laugh. Admit it, if you saw this scene on TV, you would laugh, so, why can’t you laugh at yourself? Be comfortable with laughing at yourself, you will enjoy the new you!

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This entry was posted in Cleansing Your Beliefs, Think Like a Kid and tagged , , , .

9 Responses to Being Put In The Spotlight

  1. I like the valuable information you supply to your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I am somewhat certain I will be informed many new stuff proper here! Good luck for the following!

  2. Nathaniel Flint says:

    Power…

    Power is a measurement of an entity’s ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities (definition taken from wikipedia).

    Control…

    Control is the ability to purposefully direct, or suppress, change (wiki again).

    Why would we want to exert these forces into motion?

    Survival

    Survival is the struggle to remain alive and living (wiki).

    Struggle…

    To make strenuous or violent efforts in the face of difficulties or opposition (Webster).

    Antonia chose humor as a mean to struggle for survival.

    What a wonderful world it would be if everybody would do the same.

    • antonia says:

      Hi Nathan, WOW!!! Your words just say it ALL!!! Thank you for sharing your comment with us…it sums it all up! I enjoyed reading it, so true, Power, Control, Survival, Struggle…:)

  3. Anick says:

    Antonia,

    I think of myself as being one that could laugh at myself.

    Lately I looked back and realised that i had lost that ability. In fact I had lost the ability to laugh at all. I was drowning and could not find the necessary air to exhale into laughter. Laughing seems to be a way to crack open. We fill these open cracks with cement, slowly building a wall around ourselves, year after year, beleiving we are becoming what society wants us to be by hiding our humanity. I forgot who I wanted to be in the first place. Cant see a thing with that wall (Hello to all Pink Floyd fans)

    Cant see a thing forward so the 42 years old looks back to the 6 years old and remembers: the world was a big and fascinating place filled with possibilities and a 1000 scenarios that you could pick from to build your future.Hell, you could decide that squares could roll and giraffes were blue and it became true.You could see far to the horizon then!!!
    At 6, you laughed for anything and nothing!

    I watched you differenciate things that can be changed and accept the ones I cannot change (but still seek for a way to go around and continue lol). I worked on it. And although it is not making me any younger,( time being one of those things you have to accept) I am now looking at my ”today” saying:” Hey, this looks pretty good!”.I started again to laugh. Laughing at myself for building such a silly useless wall.

    Because you thought me that the wall is really the way I see things. That, I COULD change. And I can play with the wall now. Im putting graffitis to my liking on it. But most of all, my old(er) body is climbing it with ease and I am smiling at the world from the top of it!!

    Next time you guys get stuck in the traffic, instead of fuming because Jacko on the right lane cut you off and hit the breaks or instead of worrying about you might be getting fired, just let go. You cant shoot your way through traffic like in a MGM action movie, so just let go. Instead take the time to admire through the drivers side window :the design on the bark of a tree, the grass still growing in the asphalt cracks God knows how. Go as far as inviting another Jacko to pass in front of you on the left lane

    Hey, if grass can force itself through asphalt, what in the world can stop me from cracking in laughter,
    You reminded me that the world really is a big and fascinating place
    Thank you babe,keep on ”LOL’ing”

    • antonia says:

      Hi Anick, Thanks for opening up like that and reminding us how we can lose sight by getting caught up in life’s hurdles….It is Amazing how you brought back laughter in your life and seeing through the eyes of a 6 year old. Isn’t it amazing just how much we can learn from them?

      Being caught in traffic….LOL…Thanks for making us see how we can take a different approach and appreciate nature through it….WOW!!!! BRAVO!

  4. Joe says:

    Hola Antonia,

    Great post. You’re right life does get really boring if we take ourselves too serious.

    letting our guard down does allow us to indulge in life’s simple pleasures and really brings out the best not only in ourselves but to those around us.

    Cheers,

    • antonia says:

      Hi Joe, Thanks for your comment!! Isn’t it a wonderful thing when you can bring out the best in those around us? When you are the reason why they are smiling!!! Thanks for pointing this out!

  5. vanessa says:

    let me tell you a story that happened to me this summer.. i came to work one morning as i was to sit on my desk something dropped so before seating i leaned down to pick it up, suddenly i hear a gigantic rip …farrah looks at me with a face ‘oh no this just didnt happen’ then i realize my pants ripped!!!! all the way from my back to my crotch ! i could have been upset and be super embarassed but i couldnt help but laugh! obviously i had to find a solution because i was at work, thank god i had brought extra clothes because i was going out that night! my original feeling was emabrrasment but it didnt last long, i told all my friends at work and we had a good laugh.. we also thought of you that day because you would have loved to be here for this one lol! this experience could have ruined my day and it could have made me feel self concious, but what is the point of that? people just feel bad for you if you feel bad for yourslef, if you laugh at yourself they laugh with you.

    • antonia says:

      Hi Vanessa, BRAVO on sharing this story with everyone!!! You had me laughing so hard…LOL…I love your comment, “…what is the point of that.” You just decided to have others join in on the fun!!! WOW!