The rather humorous example that comes to mind is what I’ve come to think of as the pantyhose principle. Let me explain. A few years back, I accidentally cut my right thumb rather deeply, requiring stitches, and it turns out, severing a nerve. This required the skills of a doctor who is a hand specialist - a micro-surgeon who repairs injuries to the hands. After this very delicate surgery, no doubt perceiving my rather strong tendencies toward independence, the surgeon put me in a plaster cast from the tips of my fingers to just above the elbow, thus guaranteeing the immobility required for complete healing. Hmmm. This was an amazingly annoying daily trial, causing me endless aggravation & helplessness in doing even the basic activities of daily living -- particularly personal grooming. A shower became a huge production, since the cast couldn’t be gotten wet. Shampooing and blow-drying my hair was a real challenge with one operable hand. All the things one takes completely for granted, such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc., became monumental challenges, exercises in logistics & planning. Even taking phone messages at work was a trial, since I am right-handed (of course!), and writing with my left hand was illegible, even to me. It was the old patience lesson rearing its multi-faceted and ugly head. Again!
After dealing with these daily frustrations for weeks on end -- it seemed like an eternity!-- I became quite stubborn about figuring out how to accomplish things on my own. One morning, as I was getting dressed for church, I decided (for reasons still not entirely clear to me, but seemed like a good idea at the time) to put on pantyhose. Yes, I know. It was extremely masochistic of me!
Ladies, if you have ever tried to put pantyhose on with one hand, you will know the level of frustration that it creates. If you haven't, try it sometime, just for fun. I tugged and twisted, and rolled around on the bed, determined to manage it. Meanwhile, my husband nearly injured himself laughing, which only fueled my determination to do this silly task.
Finally, sweating and swearing in defeat, I had to capitulate and ask for his help. He was almost too weak from laughter to comply, but, alas, finally, with his help I was wearing the pantyhose in the right places. Sigh. The was a very tough lesson in abject humility.
Ergo, the pantyhose principle: Choose to humble yourself when confronted with an insurmountable challenge, and ask for help. Also, it’s OK to provide some humor and entertainment in the process. Life works much more smoothly and comfortably with regular doses of humor. Be willing to laugh at yourself, too. It prevents getting sucked into seriousness.
My last pearl of wisdom from this experience: One should seek harmony between ideas and actions, integrity between thoughts and spoken words, and remember the pantyhose principle!