“Laughter is the best medicine.” Recently, I was reminded of the importance of that proverb. With everything going on in the world today, all the good news and bad news, and random news – it’s important that we all remember that this is only temporary, and to use another proverb: “this, too, shall pass.”
But what happens when we get so mired in our own stuff that we forget to laugh? Or worse: we forget HOW to laugh? Is it possible? Can we really forget how to laugh? Or, perhaps, is it simply that we feel it would be inappropriate to laugh, given everything that’s going on around us? I think that the latter has more truth.
Why is it that we feel it’s not “ok” to laugh, when things are rough? What do you do when someone starts laughing/giggling/smiling during a difficult situation? Do you judge them? Do you hold yourself higher, because you are capable of taking the situation seriously? Or do you envy their ability to have some form of release? Or do you simply think they’re rude? It doesn’t really matter what you think, or how you judge another. That’s a subject for another day. What matters today is that you give yourself enough credit to pause and consider the questions I’ve just laid out before you.
I laugh when things are funny, but I also tend to chuckle when things are inappropriate. I also laugh at things that are not funny to others, but to me, make me giggle like a schoolgirl. Recently, though – I have found myself feeling very serious, indeed. Life got more serious (as if it wasn’t already)….and I began to take everything super-seriously. In that process, I began to judge. Not others, but myself. And then, one evening, I laughed. Nothing was incredibly funny, but the genuine banter between family and friends was enough to get me going. And it felt SO good. I was enjoying the sensation of smiling and laughing again, and I didn’t want to lose it.
So, the reminder came quickly: laugh, and remember. Remember what it is to feel joy. Not joy measured by money or success. Not joy measured by the laughter and smiles of others in the room, because you said something witty, but pure joy bubbling up from your gut in the form of laughter, just because. Laughter at anything, including, in the end: laughter at yourself, and how serious you’ve gotten.
Then tonight, I had the greatest laughter of all – the kind that I had to suppress instantly, because I was on a phone call – the kind that was a reflex, of sorts, to a cartoon I received. And the reminder was overpowering. I laughed, and I smiled. And suddenly, I felt better. My situation hadn’t changed – our economy didn’t suddenly rebound, wars didn’t stop – but I felt better. And in feeling better, a small piece of me was able to shine. From there I was able to reach out and share that light and brilliance with others, and (hopefully) help them shine, too.
And that’s how things change. One smile, one light, one giggle at a time. So….life is serious, and serious things are happening all around us. But taking a moment to laugh, smile, giggle is sometimes all you need to feel just a little bit better. I do.
In love and light,