Friday, April 1, 2016

Loving the Fool

Think about the lessons you were taught as you grew up ~ the scripts that repeat themselves in your ear every time you move slightly off point. Sometimes they were overt statements made by a chastising parent or an angry sibling. Sometimes they were literally scripted by teachers, professors and mentors guiding us along the way. Sometimes they were delivered with all the flamboyance of the religious sermon they were designed to be. The words spoken, yelled or intoned were generally well meant, intended to provide us with a framework for social interactions.

My first reading of this quote had only the first half:
"I must learn to love the fool in me -- the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries."
The words wash over me like a wave in Mama Ocean, knocking me over and leaving me reeling from their power. Loving "the fool in me" was a truly new concept. All those pieces, the ones that I label good and the ones that I label bad, all those swings from one extreme to another, all of it was ~ and is ~ worthy of love. Worthy of my own love. Wow. That stuns me.

The next segment appeared in a more recent version:
"It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool."
That "fool in me" ~ the one I must learn to love ~ also encourages me to allow my too strong feelings and accept my lack of self-control for the sake of my own humanity. She protects me from my overbearing and pretentious self who resides beside her in my soul.

These words lap at my ankles, rising and falling with the tide, keeping the fool afloat and the tyrant at bay. I recognize the power-play within me. As I lean in to embrace ~ and love ~ the fool in me, the power of the tyrant diminishes.

What do you know of the fool within yourself? How do you assist the fool? the tyrant? What do you feel as you read the words of the quote? How will you continue to grow in loving the fool within?

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