Learn to Love the Fool in You

Hotei, god of happiness. Photo by Andrea Schaffer

Hotei, god of happiness. Photo by Andrea Schaffer

Don’t be a fool. You need to Look Good. It’s all about looking good and not looking foolish.

Here in Southern California, looking good is paramount. Not only in how you dress, but what you do, what you say, how you say it, who you hang out with, what you have, and how you have it. It’s gotta look good.

Chances are, especially here in So Cal, most of us don’t even realize the time and effort we put into looking good. God forbid that we come across looking like a fool.

But in fact, we are all fools. Deep down inside us, there is something about us that is potentially embarrassing; even thinking about makes us cringe.

It might be something you did long ago, or last year. Some major screw-up, or failure; some perceived missing of the mark (the meaning of the word sin, by the way). We got our heart broken, got taken advantage of, fell on our face. Perhaps it was something we failed to do. It might be something we do now, that we try to hide with the utmost effort. There are things we want to do, but dare not, for fear of looking like a fool. There is probably more than one that comes to mind.

Think about the incredible energy that goes into looking good in an attempt to hide the fool inside. More importantly, think about what it is costing you. The obsession to look good keeps us from

  • taking risks
  • playing full out
  • being fully self expressed in our words
  • displaying our passion ( you gotta be cool)
  • falling in love and loving
  • displaying our true emotions
  • being authentic

Sometime I meet people that I think are so cool and real and genuine, I want to blurt out “Wow, I just met you but I can tell that you are a totally awesome person and I really like you!” Of course, I don’t, because it wouldn’t look good and I would come across looking childish and foolish, at least to most people. But it’s the fool in me that wants to say it.

The image above is the Fool card from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. It is a young man, standing on a precipice, seemingly oblivious, his head in the clouds. He’s got a rose in one hand and his worldly possessions in the other.

According to Wikipedia:

The Fool is the spirit in search of experience. He represents the mystical cleverness bereft of reason within us, the childlike ability to tune into the inner workings of the world. The sun shining behind him represents the divine nature of the Fool’s wisdom and exuberance, holy madness or ‘crazy wisdom‘.

 We are all on the Fool’s Journey, and it is our “holy madness’ that makes us do things we may consider foolish or unreasonable in the name of love, hope, inspiration, creativity and idealism. Our looking good is what stands in the way of our bliss, found in the unrestrained desire to experience this fleeting life. The inner workings of the world, the mysterious forces that moves us to inexplicable action,  do not follow a protocol, rules, social mores or conventional behavior. They flow through us and from us, like Yoda’s Force, and allow us to tap into the power of our own divine nature.

How do we come to love the fool inside? What can we do to integrate our desire for acceptance with our sometimes foolish nature?

  • Forgive your fool. Cut it some slack. Are there good things that came out of your foolish behavior? Wisdom, at the very least?
  • Be aware of the pervasive desire to look good at all costs. Just open your eyes to see it on a daily basis. Then be ok with it: it’s the design of human being.
  • Let your fool out to play. It might be trying your hand at karaoke, telling a silly joke, revealing a vulnerability or expressing a long held feeling or emotion. Take a risk.
  • Make a distinction between being child like and childish. The Fool revels in child like abandon and wonder, in marveling at the awesome mystery of the world.
  • Everybody plays the fool sometime. There’s no exception to the rule. Get over it and accept this essential part of you.

Bless the fool within you, without it you are less human, a robot following the programming that seeks to control you. It’s there for a reason; be confident enough, courageous enough, and big enough to celebrate it.

To listen to a podcast of this blog, go to the Ted in Your Head podcast, episode 31.

If you liked this post, please leave a comment and/or share it with your social networks using the buttons below. Don’t worry about looking foolish.


10 replies
  1. Kyle
    Kyle says:

    Very cool Ted. To live life, to celebrate it and really experience it without the fears and anxieties holding you back. If that makes me a fool then I say thank God I am a fool!

  2. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    The card of the Fool always is a open door to chances that might otherwise be missed if we thought too long or feared judgement. I believe in his hand are the gifts recieved
    but then brought back to Great Spirit, Pixies, or Fairies as each of us chooses to believe. Each gift comes with a jewel to be placed in the crown of growth each of us wears til time ends. rb


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