My dentist’s office loves my new book (ok, so it’s my only book), What Didn’t Kill Me Made Me Funny! The entire staff came to my book signing party, and have ordered scads of copies to be sent around the world. (Thank you thank you thank you!) The book has opened many doors for conversations with my dear readers, one of whom works in that office. She shared a story with me from her childhood, a sweet and sour revelation that I will hold in confidence with the same vigilance she uses to protect my gleaming white enamel. She ended her story by saying “I haven’t found the funny in it yet.”
Her comment made me think. It also made me sad. When we have disappointments in life, our tendency is to see the pain, or frustration, rather than the comical side of the equation, isn’t it? Yet it really is all about how we look at life that matters. Adding a laugh or two in every situation can turn a half-empty heart into a half-full spirit.
Of course, not every situation is laugh-able, even 20 years after the fact. On the other hand, 20 years is a long time to hold on to a hurt that can eat us up from the inside out. Oh sure, many of us say we have forgiven and forgotten, but if you are like me, even if you’ve “buried the hatchet”, you can probably remember the exact spot where you buried it, so you can dig it up again if properly motivated.
That’s what I love about laughter. Contrary to what grandma might say, time does not heal all wounds. But laughter can help speed it along, as well as promote healing where there was only pain. Laughing about something painful doesn’t make it go away, but it does help us see the situation differently, and that different perspective is the key. Finding the funny in everyday life doesn’t insulate us against strife. It simply helps us bury the proverbial hatchet, and grow daisies over the burial site so we see something lovely instead of something dead underneath. Sowing seeds of mirth gives us the ability to cope with life’s sweet and sour moments, and let’s us see the glass as half full, rather than half empty.
What about you? How do you fill up your cup of cheer?