Paradox – a seemingly absurd or self- contradictory statement, though often true.
That means I am a walking self-contradictory and absurd specimen. For example, I drive to Church on Sundays, but if some aggressive arse toots me impatiently from behind, while I’m daydreaming at lights, I don’t think twice about raising my evangelical middle finger at him or her. And it’s not the sign of the cross. It’s more like “don’t cross me you impatient prick!”
Sometimes at church my eyes grow heavy and I long to stretch myself out horizontally. To prevent slipping into unconsciousness, I busy myself on my iphone which I carefully conceal within my handbag, away from disapproving eyes. Yet on other Sundays, a hymn can move me to tears and I snuffle and snort my way through to the final verse,surreptiously blotting up the relentless flow of tears. Hoping no one else has spotted my overwhelming response.
After church, it’s polite to make small talk. I hate small talk, but I smile and look deeply interested in the weather as I gaze up to the sky, remarking on the clouds. “Oh…..what a lovely scarf you’re wearing”. Yes, the kids are lovely aren’t they…as I turn to the kids trying to emulate the “do that one more time and I’ll kill you glare.” A technique my mother was able to execute successfully in a public place, with spectacular results.My attempts always end in spectacular failure as the kids continue to run around dodging frail ladies on walkers and bursting between small groups of polite small talkers.
Some of the church widows can sense a single man from miles off and make a beeline toward my beloved father, who I jealousy protect with my life. I know I should be happy for him to revel in their attentions. Instead I stand frozen faced away from them, wondering how to tell them he’s still married, even if mum is in a nursing home. I’m delighted when my ten year old butts rudely into their conversation, suggesting we visit Nanna today. There…that got them!
When my friends, clients or perfect strangers are having problems, I’m the first to rush an inspiring article off to them. I send them links to lectures on healing and letting go of fear. I regularly read about spiritual healing and believe strongly in our abilities to overcome adversity with right thinking. When it comes to myself, often removing fearful thoughts has proved a successful pathway to self-healing, and sometimes not. When I visited my surgeon recently about removing my gall bladder, I cleverly stalled by suggesting I might lose twenty kilos first. So we rescheduled the operation for November. Come November, I will try to stall until February.
Am I practicing what I preach? Maybe not, but after all, we are on a pathway of learning. Along the way we have to forgive ourselves, and each other, for our strange contradictions as we search for balance in our lives. In the meantime I’ll continue to work on eliminating fear from my life even as I continue cutting the kids grapes in half (just in case they might choke) and I will pray to God each time my head hits the pillow each night, even if I’ve said “Oh for Christs sake!” one too many times today.