EMBARRASSED INTO ENLIGHTENMENT
The following is a story about a man named "Lee" who is so shy and socially awkward that he is embarrassed to do almost anything when other people are around. It cripples him socially and forces him to become a hermit, but what he doesn't realize is that the embarrassment that he keeps feeling is actually the most unlikely "guru" of all time and it is secretly guiding him through life(and having some fun at his expense) by embarrassing him away from an ordinary life and towards the life that he was destined for...
There once was a man named "Lee" who was viewed by most people as a strange hermit but who was also admired by some people for the fact that he had renounced his worldly possessions, had a very close connection with nature, and seemed to have found a happy union of mind body and soul in his time alone. And one day a young spiritual seeker approached him and asked if he could please write a book sharing how he became enlightened so that other people could follow in his footsteps. "Lee" thought about it and said that he was actually "embarrassed" into enlightenment and that all he could really do is share some embarrassing stories of things that happened to him over the years that caused him to want to go into hiding and that gave him a unique "outsider's perspective" of the world. The following is his story in his own words...
THE EMBARRASSING STORIES
1. THE DRUG TEST
2. A REALLY RELIGIOUS UPBRINING
3. PUBLIC SCHOOLING
(MORE EMBARRASSING STORIES COMING SOON)
Hello, my name is "Lee".
Before I get into the "Embarrassing Stories" that you came here for I should probably tell you a little bit about myself. Unfortunately introducing myself to new people is the most difficult thing for me to do (and usually ends up resulting in an embarrassing story) so instead of a typical introduction I simply put together a list of 10 interesting things about me that will help you to better understand me and my stories...
10 THINGS ABOUT ME
1. I have "Bladder Shyness" (Also known as "Bashful Bladder Syndrome") and am not able to go to the bathroom if I know that there is anyone else anywhere nearby. (When I was a kid I would have to ask my parents to please go outside for 10 minutes anytime I had to use the bathroom so I could go in complete privacy.)
2. The sound of people eating is pure torture for me! (Even my own chewing sounds will torment me.) And I am also too uncomfortable to eat when people are watching me, so due to my "Eating Disorders" the only way I can eat is if I'm alone and I have headphones on blasting loud music that I like. This method allows me to enjoy eating, however, I am so embarrassed to admit what kind of music I like that my biggest fear is that when I die someone will go through my house and find my secret music collection and I will have to spend eternity rolling over in my grave out of embarrassment.
3. I am very "Easily Startled". People that know me know that if they want to approach me they have to do it very carefully because I am so introverted that I get lost in my own world of thought and when this happens I am so focused inward that the slightest external disturbance (such as a knock at the door or a tap on the shoulder) can cause me to react the same way that a normal person would react if they got an electrical shock of 10,000 volts.
4. I have "Social Anxiety Disorder" and avoid going out in public as much as possible.
If I do have to leave my house and I am walking down the street and I look ahead and see another person I will immediately cross the street to avoid them and if I can't cross the street due to traffic (or because there is someone on the other side of the street as well) I will have to turn around and find another way to my destination. (Sometimes it takes me an hour to walk somewhere that would only take a normal person 10 minutes to walk to because of constantly having to take these detours.)
It's not that I dislike people or fear that they are going to physically attack me, but rather it is just so awkward for me to encounter another person because when this happens I basically only have 2 options. I can either pretend that they are invisible and act like I don't see them (which in some situations can be very hard to convincingly pull off and might even offend them) or I can give a fake smile or a forced "Hello" to them which might lead to them trying to make "small talk" with me which is something that I dread so much that I would rather spend an extra hour walking around to avoid those awkward few moments.
5. I have "Telephonophobia" (A strong phobia of telephones) and although ALL forms of public speaking scare me there is something about talking on a phone that is especially difficult for me.
If I have to make a phone call to someone that I don't know (like if I am calling to schedule a dental appointment) the person that answers the phone will usually assume that I'm a woman due to my shy and soft-spoken voice and will say something like, "Thank you for calling Ma'am, can I have your name please?" and I'll have to make up a name like "Mary" and pretend that I am scheduling an appointment for my husband just to avoid the awkwardness of telling them that I'm actually a man.
And if I'm talking to someone that I actually know on the phone (like my mom) there can sometimes be these really long moments of awkward silence when we run out of things to talk about and neither of us can think of what to say next and just like people who spend time in the "The World's Quietest Room" will freak out and even hallucinate due to the uncomfortable silence that they are experiencing, being caught in the "void" of awkward silence during a phone call with a loved one and not knowing how to politely get out of it will have a similar effect on me.
6. I have "Motorphobia". (A fear of driving or riding in a car.) I actually had a car for 10 years in my youth, although I put less miles on it in those 10 years than most people drive in only 1 year, and I never dared to drive on the highway, or during "rush hour traffic", or to places that I had never been before out of an intense fear of getting lost and having to ask someone for directions.
I could easily write a book on all of the things that would really stress me out about driving and below are just a few random examples...
- When I would get stuck behind a slow mmoving vehicle that was a smaller than my mine and worry that the impatient drivers behind me wouldn't be able to see the smaller vehicle in front of me and would think that the slow traffic was all my fault.
- When there were no cars on the road exxcept for me and one other car and we were both stopped side by side at a red light for a long time and although I would keep looking straight ahead I felt confident that if I suddenly turned and looked at the other car I would see that the other driver was just starring at me.
- When I would be approaching a "4-Way SStop" and notice that me and another car were going to arrive at the exact same time so to avoid any awkwardness I would purposely slow way down so they would get there first and be gone before I got
there but when they would get to the stop they would just stay there which would make me start silently screaming in my head, "No, No, No!!! Please Just Go!!! Don't Do This To Me!!!" and then when I got there they would wave for me to go ahead and go first which would force me to have to interact with them by smiling and waving at them to show my "appreciation" for their act of kindness.
7. I am so "Camera Shy" that if someone pulls out a camera it is just as scary as if they pulled out a gun. As a matter of fact, if someone wanted to rob me they could just point a camera at me and threaten to take my picture and post it on-line because in my eyes if they did that my life basically would be over.
8. I get asked a lot if I'm a "Monk" because I shave my head, wear plain and modest clothing, and live in a house that is almost completely empty. The truth is that I'm not really a monk, I just kind of look like one...
- The reason I started shaving my head wwas because I was starting to develop "Male Pattern Baldness" and decided to just shave everything to hide it.
- The reason I wear plain and modest cloothing is because time has shown that ALL fashion trends will ultimately become embarrassing. For example, it wasn't that long ago in human history that a big biker dude with a diamond studded jacket,
leather pants and a mullet was an intimidating sight that would instantly strike fear in people, but now-a-days if a man walked down the street looking that way even little kids would be laughing at him. It's insane how the public interpretation of a fashion statement can change so much over time and because I don't get out much and therefore don't know what is currently considered "cool" or "out of style" I just stick with plain and modest clothing to avoid brining any unwanted attention to myself.
- The reason I don't have any furniture at my house is because the workers at furniture stores receive a commission-based salary and any time that I have ever tried to go into a furniture shop the workers would not leave me alone. They would keep asking me what I was looking for and no matter how much I would tell them that I was just looking around they would just keep following me around the store until I would become so uncomfortable that I had to walk out. (So unless I can get a legal restraining order put on all of the employees that work at a furniture store I can't go into one.) And I can't shop at places like Walmart and fill my house with a bunch of things that I don't really need because they have a professional "Greeter" at the front door that actually gets paid to make "small talk" with you as you enter the store and then again as you leave the store, so the only time I actually go shopping is if it's a matter of life and death. (I have to eat)
9. I suffer greatly from "Secondhand Embarrassment Syndrome". (When seeing other people get embarrassed or make a fool out of themselves makes you "cringe" and feel embarrassed as well.)
Because I know so well what it feels like to be embarrassed it is almost like an "Out Of Body Experience" for me when I see other people get embarrassed. It feels like I actually become that person and that I can even transcend time and space and experience an infinite number of embarrassing possibilities...
For example, when YouTube first came out I clicked on a video called "The Greatest Video You Will Ever See" and in the video there was a baseball game going on at a big stadium with a big screen monitor at the top of the stadium that suddenly focused on a single woman in the crowd. When the woman looked up and realized that she was on the monitor she looked around in confusion and wondered what was going on and then the man next to her got on one knee and everyone in the crowd started cheering. I quickly turned off the video, but it was too late...
- I suddenly became the man who was propposing and she said "No" to me in front of everyone. It was the most embarrassing moment of my life and I knew that for the rest of my life I would instantly cringe any time I thought about the incident.
- I then became the woman being proposedd to. I liked this man who was proposing to me but not THAT much and I couldn't believe that he would put me in a situation like this publicly in front of all these strangers. I didn't want to say "Yes", but I was too embarrassed to say "No" due to the "entrapment" that he had subjected me to so I reluctantly said "Yes" and for the rest of my life I would instantly cringe any time I thought about the incident.
- I then became both the man and the womman happily married and united as "One"... (For 6 years, 2 months, and 11 days that is) and then we decide to separate and go our own separate ways again. The problem is that even though we "separated" we both still live in the same town and will sometimes be unexpectedly "reunited" with each other at the grocery store or at some other random place in public and each time this happens it becomes more and more awkward and then it becomes extremely awkward and "cringeworthy" to even run into the relatives, friends, or co-workers of our ex-lover in public.
- I then became myself again and came upp with the affirmation, "Other people's love life's are none of my business and I like it that way". So please do not try to introduce me to your new boyfriend or girlfriend because I know that if you introduce me to them and then you end up falling out of love with them and I run into them somewhere they will want to cringe when they see me and I don't wish that feeling on anyone.
10. I am an "Artist" and my desire to hide and not be noticed is balanced by an equal desire to express myself creatively.
They say that "All Life Is A Stage" and this is true in the sense that it doesn't matter whether you are going to work, to church, to a dance club or even to your own funeral, you will be required to wear a "costume" and stay in "character" if you wish to have a role in the "real world". Because of this I choose to only make small "cameo appearances" in the real world and usually try to be a quiet "extra" in the background that goes virtually unnoticed, however, years ago I discovered that when I signed up to come to Earth and play the part of "Lee" there was a stipulation in my contract giving me full "creative control" over my character and every once in a while I will use this power to bring some much needed humor to the human drama.