June 11: Day 162
Laugh: I choose laughter as the notes of my song. This temporal life is a journey to be enjoyed. I look for the comedy in situations, and I learn to laugh at my own comedy of errors.
Instruction: Lighten up.
Many of us are somber people, and we take our lives and our world seriously. Perhaps, it’s time we lighten up. In fact, the word, “enlightened,” has the word “lighten” within it. There seems to be a direct correlation between “enlightened” and “lighten” in the sense that as we spiritually mature, our sense of humor improves. We see the absurdity of taking ourselves too seriously. Imagine that life is a joke, and when we die, we grasp the punchline. Hey, it was all in fun. We might be surprised how much we are able to laugh at ourselves and at the world we thought was out to get us. We may have noticed that even now, before our life ends, we can look at our past and examine events we thought were disastrous at the time, but now we can see the humor in those situations. We can laugh at our role in the play, and we can laugh at others (but not in a mean way) who had no clue as to the part they played in the comedy of errors. If we are not able to do this in at least one past memory of our lives, then we should probably see a Laugh Doctor to see if our funny bone is broken and in need of mending.
When we go through intense emotional pain, we can often gauge the healing process by our laugh thermometer. If there is no laughter at all, we’re still embroiled in the pain. If there is a little laughter on the laugh thermometer, healing has begun but is still a ways off. When the gauge has reached the top, healing has been achieved, the past has served its purpose, and we can recall the memory without bitterness, pain, guilt, or shame. Can laughter be forced? Perhaps. I’m certainly open to the idea. Sometimes, when I feel grumpy, I’ve noticed that if I watch a comedy, my mood usually lightens and I feel less stress, less serious, and more contentment, joy, and peace. I have heard of “Laughter Yoga” classes in which the time is spent intentionally laughing. Doctors have been using laughter as a form of healing. The “Laughter Yoga” movement was actually started by a doctor. Laughter is a spiritual tool that brings us back to childlike behavior that easily laughs at the foibles and follies that we often let get the better of us. So, we choose laughter as the notes of the music we sing, and we make a serious commitment to lighten up.
Today’s Assignment is to inventory your past few days and notice how often you found yourself in the midst of laughter. Make this a lighthearted exercise and don’t feel sad, guilty, or even shameful for not laughing. Just use it as a reminder that laughter is often a good indication of happiness and joy. Look for ways to laugh more often and more heartily.
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