Can you laugh when the expectations you had for life have been turned upside down and inside out and you wonder how you will make it through another day? Your world has changed forever.
When my husband and I brought our third child home from the hospital after he was born, it was with joy and excitement. He was a husky, healthy ten-pound baby boy. However, by six months we knew something wasn’t right as he still was unable to hold up his head.
Many months later, once again, we brought our son home from another extended hospital visit where extensive tests had been done. Only this time, we were in shock. The final diagnosis was that Don had cerebral palsy of the worst magnitude.
When was the last time you laughed – I mean, really laughed – until the tears rolled down your cheeks, your sides hurt, and you gasped for air? You laughed and laughed and didn’t want to stop!
Something tickled your funny bone so that in an instant you saw the world differently – your situation was so bad, it was funny – your problem so profound, it was laughable – the ludicrous became the comical. The world had turned upside down and you laughed as you swung in the absurdity of the moment.
What precipitated that laughter? How did it change how you felt about your world, your situation, yourself? How did it change the minutes and hours afterwards?
As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.
— Jewish Proverb
Laughter is not a once-in-a while event – it is a lifestyle – a way to look at life.
Laughter allows you to see the good in the midst of our troubles. It helps you move through difficult times. It allows you to focus on things to be thankful for.
Laughter and humor take the edge off any crisis or adversity you are facing. It allows you to see a bigger picture.
At any moment in time, things can happen that will disrupt our day. But we can learn valuable insights during such times. Disruptions can become profound teachable moments. Such an event occurred to me.
I was washing clothes, preparing for our family to leave the following day on a camping trip. The water flow going into my washing machine was exceedingly slow. I had been improvising by attaching a hose from my laundry tub faucet to my washing machine to fill it.
When the phone rang in our office, I didn’t bother to shut off the faucet, thinking I would only be a minute.
“The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.” -H. G. Wells
One of the greatest benefits you will ever have when going through difficult times is the ability to laugh at yourself and your circumstances.
Research indicates that laughter has a positive effect on our brains – it literally changes the brain.
Even in the midst of distress and anxiety, we can find something that can make us smile or laugh. We can find that drop of humor in any difficult situation, and when that happens, the resulting laughter can instantly transport us to another world.
We think of losses as something we quickly address and then dismiss. But the more significant the loss, the more the impact it has on every area of our life: social, financial, personal, family, friendships, and our past as well as our future.
Loss asks the question, where do I go from here?
There are many books on the market that speak to that early universal pain. We can experience a multitude of emotions: shock, anger, fear, anxiety, relief, shame, guilt, etc. Our pain will gradually recede as life demands we engage again to pay the bills and feed our families. But little information is offered to help us create a new roadmap moving forward.
My newly released book, Learning to Live Again in a New World, addresses that need.