The Art Of Being Silly
Not to say that it's always a great thing to act out of childish impulse. Of course there's a balance to be struck. But if you feel like most of the days of your week are filled with such routine, such blandness, maybe it's time to infuse a bit of sillyness into things. After all, usually it's the small moments that make our day.
There are many benefits to letting go sometimes and allowing your true weird self to shine on:
We admire those who don’t give a damn
We admire those who are unafraid of others’ judgments. We sit and belly laugh at the likes of high-energy actor Jim Carrey, but if someone other than Jim were to take to the streets with Ace Ventura-style behavior, they’d be more likely locked up than applauded. Why?
When someone over the age of 18 decides to act silly, it’s not always so well received.
“Don’t be so childish,” they say.
Why is it only the domain of children to make, say… daft noises for entertainment? Why is it such a turn off for other adults if another should do that? What does it trigger in them? Just like kids are, many adults are high-energy by nature. Is the really so that the only acceptable outlet for that is a run around the woods?
I have no qualms about being silly. I’ll admit that I’ve done things like run around in circles making loud animal noises; yes, I was teaching kindergarten but for that I was wholeheartedly worshipped! Would I get away with that elsewhere though?
The nutters are free
The impulse that helps me to entertain small children is the same one that allows Jim Carrey to entertain grown adults, but for some reason, there has to be a time and a place. As those factors aren’t collectively agreed upon, people who act the fool receive very mixed messages.
Of course there are people out there who have descended into true, non-discerning madness and it’s usually obvious when mental faculties are not intact, but I’m referring to those who simply understand that they are free to express themselves however they see fit — no matter the reception.
I embrace the nutters. Being silly is fun! Why must we stop at a certain age? We all like to laugh. Laughter is medicine! It’s a way to release pent-up energy trapped in our systems. Who makes the rules on which behaviors are acceptable?
Being silly probably turns other adults off because it is perceived as indicating lack of capability or awareness; they feel that if you’re doing or saying weird things openly, you aren’t in control, so you mustn’t know when or even how to be in control. It doesn’t occur to them that you not caring what they think is actually a sign of good mental health — taking this attitude while immersed in a culture full of rules and pretense, some might call it sanity.
We are multifaceted beings
I don’t mind pushing boundaries with wisecracks, impressions, teasing, silly faces, practical jokes or questionable utterances… but I know precisely when and how to be serious. I have many facets to my personality; I’m not only capable of being a clown, but also an intelligent person with powers of discernment, and I recognize which situations require my intelligence, strength and seriousness.
Does the capacity to be silly somehow offset the possibility of being, say… someone who has a worthy perspective? A powerful healer? A wise advisor, a strong mediator, or an influential activist?
Silliness enriches relationships. It brings energy to them! It adds humor and warmth to the mix and encourages others to not be so rigid. It lifts moods, diffuses negative energy and tension. Surely that’s healthier than reaching for an energy drink or anti-depressant pill to feel better. I don’t mind saying inappropriate things if they make me laugh, and I don’t mind not fitting into society’s generic molds.
Bring out your inner child
You may have noticed that in this article I have highlighted all of society’s aspersions, because they’re so freely cast that it’s easy to forget how restrictive they are. Why do we limit each other so much? I think it’s conditioning, but because I was brought up by a father who spent a fair amount of time each day being as silly as he could muster, I’m comfortable with it. I’ve been labeled all sorts for that, but these days I don’t care. I encourage everyone to open up and be as childish as they fancy.
Suppressing such urges is no different to suppressing aspects of your shadow. Shame, guilt or embarrassment can only hold you back. Being silly doesn’t mean you’re not a capable adult — it means you’re free to explore every aspect of yourself.
People talk about embracing their inner child all the time. It’s a new-age trend, even. We are told that it’s fine to let out the fears and negative experiences that child had. But for some reason the embracing seems to stop at the positive expression.
The bottom line here is that the less seriously we take ourselves, the better a time we’ll have in general. Ego has less of a grip, genuine people warm to authenticity, as do they appreciate the guts some have to stand up to nonsensical cultural rules. Life is short, so why not be a high-energy, happy, carefree, authentic person? You won’t regret it.
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