“Play heals the body, laughter heals the heart, and joy heals the spirit.” ～Unknown
Today I want to thank you for two special God-given gifts that I am grateful to have: a sense of humor and a sense of optimism.
Every time I’ve tripped and fallen, or been kicked into the dirt, every time I’ve landed on my butt or face and got covered in mud, with throbbing bruises and sore scrapes, I’ve always been I was able to do so. Smile and laugh.
In 2018, I found out that my husband of 12 years of building 4 beautiful little lives together was having an affair with a colleague. He left his family abruptly the year before without any explanation. But most of all, on Valentine’s Day, the truth came out.
I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of it all. It was like a Lifetime movie, except it was my life and there was no camera. Rather than give in to the sadness I felt, I chose to instead laugh at how ridiculous every Valentine’s Day looked from that point forward.
A few months ago, in the middle of this blizzard, I was late for an appointment and was trying to load my kids into a minivan. The side door got stuck and I pulled the whole door out of the van trying to close it.
So when I saw my nine-year-old daughter looking back at me, wide-eyed at the sight of her mother clutching the van door, covered in big fluffy snowflakes, I just started laughing. I was.
It would probably be an expensive repair, and I had no idea how to fix the situation myself, but I couldn’t help but laugh again at how ridiculous it must have seemed to those who were watching. . In that situation.
I tried to put the door back on, even temporarily. That way I could move the van across the street and put the side with the broken door out onto the sidewalk without going out of the driving lane.
I parked my car across the street in front of a local bar and two men inside came out and said the doors looked different. They helped me secure the door to the seat of the van with zip ties and we tried to climb slowly up the snow-covered slippery hill.
Thanks to physics, gravity and nature, that never happened. So I laughed the whole time as I slowly slid down the hill. (We were the only ones on the road at that point, so no one was in danger.)
I could have burst into tears and taught my kids how to fold under pressure. And while I know that sometimes tears are justified and showing weakness and emotion is totally appropriate, in that moment I chose to laugh. And just keep trying. If you fail, just laugh and try something else.
Just last week, when I entered one of my busiest weeks, I had two public speaking jobs and a lavish wedding weekend to go, so two of my four kids were out of business. got gastroenteritis…it works because that’s life. I laughed, shook my head at the right time, pulled up my boot straps, swallowed an anti-nausea pill, and continued on with my life.
Laughter usually comes from a silly thought that pops into your head.
Often the thought is just how ridiculous the fall looked. What’s more, the chronology of events leading up to the fall is absurd.
Sometimes what makes me laugh looking at it is just reciting out loud what just happened. Loud verbal descriptions of the disaster may not only shake your head, but may also cause you to put your palms to your face and provoke an indignant laughter.
I think some people look around and see the carnage and cry…because you don’t?!
But there are others, like me, who absolutely want to cry (and maybe in a quiet, tiny) moment, we do) but they joke and laugh by default.
We do so not only because it feels better to laugh than to shed tears of pain and frustration, but also because the hurtful feelings that radiate from us to those who sympathize or sympathize with our plight. Because it also helps reduce the effects of ripples.
The second thing I’m grateful for is that I still have a sense of optimism despite all the falls and corners I’ve had.
The knowledge that things can always go wrong helps jokes, too.
Sometimes it feels like your situation can’t get any worse, but your brain knows there’s always more down there, and that juxtaposition makes you laugh. And in that realization there is hope. The hope is not to go any lower than that. I hope you can pick yourself up and get over it.
But both of these qualities act as eternal lifelines that keep us from sinking too deep into the quagmire. Because it’s hard to sink when you’re surrounded by thousands of hilarious laughter.
I say this because I think people often lack emotional depth and situational awareness, or are indifferent and often make the wrong choice to smile positively and hopefully.
Choosing to laugh and being positive by default takes a great deal of focus, effort, and attention. It’s about making a conscious decision to get up, smile, grow, and seek joy again. And when we are surrounded by negative emotions, we tend to choose bitterness and despair instead.
So I give high fives to people who have a sense of humor, who are optimistic, and who choose to laugh.
Please continue to move forward with a smile. Even if you end up with $$.