I get several posts daily from various sources, tidbits, quotes, the occasional offbeat entry. This morning’s batch included a quote by Lucille Ball:
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Okay – this isn’t exactly news, or rocket science, but I was struck by the observation coming from Lucille Ball, legendary comic, icon of ditziness. Not a particularly ditzy comment! I’ve always believed that the best actors, the best comics, are razor-sharp smart, wired far beyond what meets the eye. It’s their intelligence that allows them to know how to reach us. I’m not a celeb-follower, but I know Lucille Ball had a life checkered with all sorts of ups and downs. I think what draws me here is the raw honesty of her observation, and a sense of underlying courage. Even the rich and famous have challenges . . .
What she alludes to is that it’s tempting to stay on the surface of things, especially painful things. Floating along is sometimes all we feel we can manage, a sense that if we look beneath, look deeper, we will somehow be swamped, drown in a difficult situation, never to surface again.
As I think about it, I think it’s somewhat a matter of timing. There is a time to hunker down, to preserve ourselves by floating, not rocking the boat until it steadies a bit. But there is also a time to take stock, admit that something’s awry, and have the courage to try to figure out what to do differently. (I’m reminded here of that great saying: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”)
I think there is also another dimension to be gleaned from this quote: Sometimes the underlying conflict is whether we actually want things to change. We know the demon we have. There is often a sense of wondering whether change will be worse, instead of better!
Here’s the point, I think: facing something does not automatically mean we will decide to change it, but it opens up the possibility of choosing. And therein lies the magic: What I don’t face runs me, by default. What I face empowers me to choose. Seems like the better way to go!
Here’s to knowing “when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em,” when to float, when to dig deep. And mostly, here’s to bearing ourselves on the gentlest of wings, knowing we’re good enough, just as we are.