Humour is at the heart of most embarrassments. There, at the centre of moments that still make you cringe when you think back can be found heartfelt laughter which can relieve you from all the self-conscious emotions, wounded pride, shame and even feelings of frustration we’ve all had a taste of. 

So life as we know it has happened again, you’ve said something or done something in a split second that makes you want to bury your face in your pillow and scream, “WHAT ON EARTH WAS I THINKING?!!!”

Or you just so happen to find yourself in a situation that leaves your face burning for hours and has you wishing that you had stayed in bed that entire day. 

Whatever the case may be, such moments are still received as daunting to many who miss the art as an embarrassment. 
When I was still in high school (grade 8 to be precise) we had our first sports day for the year. Such a day involves sports participation from every learner, assessments of the performance, game sessions, etc. It was a day free from our usual teaching and learning classes which was the best part for most pupils because we automatically took it as a fun day. 
At that time I was not a sporty person in any way, my last memory of actively participating in sports by then was in grade 3. When I was 7 years old I was one of the best runners in my grade, I always managed to make it into the top five. I generally loved running in those days and not solely as a sport. Five years later, there I was in the field ready to make it to the finish line victoriously, exhilarated by feelings of nostalgia. 
‘On your marks. Get set. Go.’
Then off we went about seven of us, running as fast as our feet could bear. At first, the race was promising, we were almost moving in sync with not much space between us. Then one by one they started to pick up the pace and before I knew it I was left behind with just one girl. At that point, it felt like it was just the two of us, striving not to be in last place. I found myself leading at some point, hopeful again to be part of the big race only for the girl to sprint past me in a flash. That literally stopped me in my tracks and without much thinking, I walked by to the nearest audience and sat down. What I had just done only dawned on me when onlookers started laughing, how embarrassing! 

So the school year progressed with random people pointing at me and declaring in giggles, ‘that is the girl!’ and a few asking me, ‘what were you thinking?’
Yet still, in the midst of it all, my heart was at ease because that experience amused me too. Unbeknownst to me, that moment was the foundation I needed in learning how to take embarrassments with grace. 
In my mid-teen years, my sisters and I were hanging out with a close mutual friend. That day, he came with two friends of his that were brothers. The elder one was about my age and I was smitten. 
He was tall and dark, with the prettiest eyes. We were all engaged in conversation together and every now and then the pretty fellow and I would maintain eye contact. I did eventually conversate with him directly that evening and although the exact details are blurry in my memory now there is a moment I remember vividly well from that hang-out. It was now time for them to leave and my sisters and I started hugging them goodbye. He was the last one I hugged, and all I can say is I soaked in his embrace. Something about it was simply calming. While still lost on cloud nine, out of nowhere, he chuckled, ‘Mpho doesn’t want to let go of me’.
Everyone burst out laughing. At that point in time, all I wanted to do was disappear. My sisters constantly teased me about it and would not let me hear the end of it. It took me a little while to finally laugh at my embarrassment and quit trying to defend myself but once I did my heart was at ease once again. 
Perhaps when reading this, my embarrassments may seem silly to you but that’s generally how embarrassments are when you really stop to think about them. Some may be sillier than others but nevertheless, embarrassments are generally a silly amusing part of life.
I have embarrassed myself a lot more in my lifetime to know that certain embarrassments are easier to laugh at instantly and get over much more quickly than others, whilst some will have you wishing you could avoid certain people or places for a while or better yet, forever!
However, I’ve found that most people struggle with getting over embarrassment because they don’t distinguish between moments when they were embarrassed and ones whereby they were humiliated. One thing I can say to this is it’s not really an embarrassment if it belittles you or degrades you. Humiliations are an entirely different chat, those require other deeper methods for healing. But embarrassments? There is an art in them, they are humorous and make the most interesting stories to tell. So go on, laugh your embarrassments away and tell your stories. The key is: to take yourself less seriously and embrace the foolishness within you, the one that will always manifest through embarrassments.