See if you agree with me. This human life of ours is often beset with challenges and struggles. Not only grief, but illness, unemployment, bankruptcy, natural disasters, relationship difficulties and conflict. The list could go on and on. But what’s interesting to me, is that without even knowing it sometimes, we cleverly find ways of dealing with the situations and circumstances that we find ourselves in.
We’ve got our own little bag of goodies. Our own personal and unique arsenal full of weaponry to get us through.
One of the weapons I have in my bag to blast through the slumps of life is my ability to laugh. That is something we all have access to. Human beings are the only species on the planet who can laugh and laughter has been shown to have immense benefits to our wellbeing and physical health . Remember the inspirational Patch Adams movie based on a real life doctor who used laughter in his work. Laughter truly is a healing tour de force and recognised as such. There is now laughter therapy in cancer treatment centres and laughter yoga clubs across the world. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s spontaneous laughter or contrived laughter, as this video demonstrates when John Cleese joined in the merriment at a morning laugher yoga group in India.
It’s not easy to consider laughing when our life has been torn apart and all you are feeling is devastation and loss, or is it? Allen Klein, the author of “The Courage to Laugh” describes his experience of laughter soon after his father died. The night my son died, 2 close friends were with me, and we were recounting to each other the events leading up to his death. There was lots of talking, lots of tears and extreme sorrow. Suddenly I seemed to find humour, snippets of amusement, in some of the events of that week, so much so that I started laughing and before we knew it we were all hysterical, doubled over with mirth. It was a huge release of emotion for all of us. An instant transportation into a different reality for a few minutes which then allowed us to rise up anew and refreshed to face the future.
So even amidst your struggles, harness the power of your own resources to help you through. Make sure you’ve got the L word in your bag.