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  • Linda L. Fitch

Learning to Laugh

One of the reasons I married my husband is that he makes me laugh.

My​ father​ was a college​ ​professor and a very thoughtful man​;​ ​somewhere​ I coded that it was best to be serious.

I thought funny people had some special gift or talent or way of looking at the world. I never could remember a joke and was always hesitant to tell one in case I messed up the​ ​punch line. I confess to owning every ​one of ​Gary Larson​'s ​Far Side book​s​, and really mourned​ ​when he retired​. I missed those​ daily calendars that gave me a laugh every morning.

Learning to laugh, especially at myself, has been a life long journey. My internal default for many​ ​years was to figure things out​; I was​ always looking at how I'd be better next time.

Doing things​ ​well and becoming better and better is a great way of approaching the world, but ....after you​ ​laugh. And laugh at yourself.

I have some dear friends ​who ​remind me to laugh. Or ​at least ​chuckle at myself and the world. They do​ ​their personal work, so their laughter isn't a way to hide or make light of what needs to be​ ​looked at. And their humor is loving to others and to themselves. These are my role models​ (along with ​T​he ​F​ar ​S​ide of course​)​.

Looking at the world through a younger set of eyes helps too. Driving​ recently ​with my 21​-​year​-​old daughter​,​ I noticed a squirrel that had hit and was "sleeping" in the​ ​road and made a comment. She promptly reminded me that it could have gotten "pushed" into​ ​oncoming traffic.

Laughing also helps you physically. It allows you to breath, which gets oxygen to​ ​the brain. That allows you to hear, feel and think better.

Laughter also helps you to step back​ ​from what ever is happening and become the observer of the situation. Becoming the observer is part of every spiritual tradition because we stop identifying with the​ ​smaller story and have a doorway to connecting to the oneness of spirit.

Like the ​Q'ero shaman, put a t​w​inkle in your eyes when you look at the world and yourself. Root​ ​your source in joy. Take your old story lightly, so you can fly easily.

Practice by looking at the world for one full day, with the core question: what is there that is joy? What is there about me to laugh about? How do I bring joy and laughter to the world today?

Maybe I need to ask those friends if those are the "best" questions... hahaha (just a little self-deprecating humor).

Do you have a favorite joke? Please do share... still practicing the laughing.

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