Where would we be if we couldn’t laugh in this world that is frequently too serious for its own good? One of the greatest gifts I’ve come to discover is how to laugh at and with myself. I’ve spent most of my life taking myself and things way too seriously. It’s wonderful to have a sensitive heart, but it’s so important to shield it from unnecessary pain. That’s where a good dose of humor serves the spirit and leads us all to let go through wonderfully releasing belly laughs. One thing is certain. Humor not only helps us, it heals.
I’ve heard it said that children laugh hundreds of time each day. On the other hand, adults only laugh six times a day on average. If you’ve been like I’ve been, I bet there have been many days within your lives when you didn’t laugh at all. Now, that’s no laughing matter!
What’s been wonderfully healing for me has been to turn my past pain into humor. That’s first required doing some work at letting go. That’s meant that I’ve had to deal with resentments and practice forgiveness of myself and others. That’s not an easy job; but, trust me, it’s worth the effort!
By facing myself and my own foibles, and learning not to take myself so seriously, I’ve learned how to laugh at and with myself over things that I didn’t used to find funny at all. This has brought me so much joy and it’s released me from toxic things like self-pity. Life’s too short to stay locked in a cave of negativity and judgment.
Well, my friends. You certainly know that I’ve been able to use humor in my series of Sister Mary Olga books. I’ve especially done that by looking at character flaws that I’ve observed in both myself and others. Then I’ve exaggerated them for comic effect. Consider the prudish and judgmental Priscilla Bunhead and the proud and manipulative Lula Mae Bunsaplenty. Add an angry bully named Martha Mayhem who has a chip on her shoulder bigger than a dowager’s hump. With them I’ve created a recipe for finding humor in the darkness within people’s souls.
In my own life, I think back to how I used to laugh so many times – so freely and unselfconsciously. What a relief it was! Guess what, folks? Those days have returned for me and they can for you too. Just lighten up and let go of whatever has bothered you. Face your fears and see them for what they are. Surrender them to the light and let go of the darkness within your souls. If I’ve been able to do it, anybody can!