Way back when I was attending a small church-funded college in the Midwest, a pair of friends among the faculty referred to themselves as the Reverend Marv M. and the Irreverent Dan R., and it was so true - both ordained clergy, they were as different as day and night, one philosophical and serious, the other playful and spontaneous. I admired them both for the men that they were.
Embracing both sides of my nature... the spiritual and the corporal, the sacred and the profane, has always been my way of approaching life, even if it sometimes causes inner conflict. I have people from both ends of the spectrum in my life, and I treasure them equally. One calls me to my higher self and helps me to become more of what I am intended to be, the other gives me respite from the daily struggle and makes me laugh. That it a true gift as well.
Being of both natures, as we all are, I am uncomfortable around people who wear their halos too tight. Sometimes they have a pinched look on their faces! :-) Yes, I wish - at times - that I could stay focused on being in a state of grace, one with the universe, all day, every day. But I can't, and I don't struggle against the side of me that enjoys stomping in mud puddles now and then - if only to laugh at myself and some of the places my life has taken me.
I live a pretty simple life, one could probably say I am a "good person" most days, though that term is highly subjective and I have no doubt you could find dissenters. Because I am often quiet, (really, imagine that, bet you'd never have guessed it by my wordiness here), that is mistaken for being aloof, which is not me at all. I can also be VERY outspoken if I think something is wrong and needs to be called to people's attention. Seeing others being treated wrongly will get me on my soapbox for sure! I like to see things done
my way the "right way"! I get impatient with slackers and those whose primary goal in life seems to be to make other people miserable.
There is also the playful side of me seldom seen by others, that just loves to toss out random comments to shock and awe, or to throw in a dissenting opinion to see people responding with looks of utter horror. Back in my younger days I was more so, and tended to dress a bit radically for effect too.
These days, if you haven't take the time to know me well and/or don't read here often, you would think I was a conservative old woman who has a cat fetish and believes in fairy tales like "happily ever after". Well, all of that is true except for the conservative part. It can be said that I consider my position and responses more carefully these days. I don't blow up nearly as easily, I am less confrontational. I choose my battles. I am a bit more careful about what I share. But there is the part of me that is a bit bawdy, loves to laugh about past adventures and how free life was in the late 60's -70's. Sometimes my husband just rolls his eyes, when I toss out an off the wall comment to see if he is listening.
I remember reading a book for a college course called "God Loves Laughter". Due to my strict protestant upbringing, the concept of a laughing God was difficult to grasp. Our god was stern and quick to condemn. The image of a loving father didn't really play into it. Of course my dad was stern too, so that was my frame of understanding.
But you know, the memories I loves best of my dad are the few times when he let go of that hard line image and did something really silly or funny... the the day he went around quacking like a duck because it made us kids laugh, or the time he sprayed mom with a water hose thru the kitchen window. So maybe fathers do love laughter, even if there wasn't a whole lot of it in our house growing up. And maybe God, however you define God, loves laughter too. Maybe a bit of silliness and careless joy adds to the light and positive energy of the universe as much as does our thoughts and prayers in more spiritual directions.
Sometimes I think we as humans are like the character from the book Stranger in an Strange Land, in the scene at the monkey cage, where he comes to the realization that we have to laugh and make fun of the absurdities of life at times to keep ourselves from crying.
I make no apologies for being occassionally outrageous, for saying or doing things that others might consider inappropriate. Two old farts nearing sixty engaged in a food fight at their table in a restaurant over a shared piece of cake? Yes, we did that once... and it was FUN! I spent too many years with no laughter in my life. Laughter is good for the soul! Everything I was and everything that I am, make up the sum total of me, without any part of it I would be a lesser person. I am grateful for what I am, and I'm pretty much ok with myself most days.
Life is not always a kind and gentle experience, sometimes it is difficult if not impossible to respond in a saintly manner and to rise above. What is possible is to take it one day at a time, and to stay focused on the desired outcome... to bounce back, perhaps a bit wiser or at least stronger. And if we find ourselves stuck in the mud, to be able to climb out of the pit and get back into the game of life, headed in the right direction. I may stumble and fall at times, I may grumble and behave in ways that aren't "user friendly" but beneath and above it all, I love life, I love people, and I believe that God is good!