Humoring Myself

I was sitting around the other day not really doing anything, so I thought I would ponder an idea or two.  I started to think about days long ago in which I found it so easy to just laugh.  A hearty laugh – a belly laugh and then I wondered what happened?  I haven’t laughed for a long time and that started me to think about why.


I like to think (though I am sure my mother would say otherwise) that I was born with a smile on my face.  A knowing smile in which one would question why is she so happy?  I would like to think it was at that precise moment my sense of humor was developed.  At a young age everything made me laugh and the biggest contributor to my sense of humor was my father.


My father was a very social person and when he entered a room a lot of people naturally gravitated towards him.  My father could definitely keep you entertained.  He was always very good at telling stories about his childhood.  He would reel you in and before you knew it you were glued to that spot and eager to hear more.  He would even tell the same stories over and over and you knew exactly how they ended, but it was woven so cleverly, so captivatingly, you just had to hear it again.  I watched him often as a child.  I used to stare at his face and get lost in it.  He always had a way to make me laugh and I was always a willing participant.


I felt the joy laughter brought and I wanted to indulge in it.  I never wanted to stop laughing.  It made me feel carefree and alive.  I wanted to make others laugh.  I wanted to not be so serious.  I studied my father and I drew my observations from life and I found my way to laughter.  I honed my sense of humor and I loved utilizing it whenever I could.


I went out with friends to parties or met others at school and I told a joke or two, made a funny insight, anything to get others to laugh.  This was an opportunity for me to connect with others, but also for me to try to make someone feel better if even for a brief moment or two.


It defined who I was.  I had a role in my clique.  I had a purpose whenever I met up with people.  It seemed so much simpler back then.


As I rounded the bend after my college years, it became my defense mechanism to get me through some very rough roads that were ahead.  It became more dominant to cover up a boatload of pain.  It appeared to be working, but realization started to knock at my door.  I had to open my eyes and see that humor was not going to fix my issues.  It was at that juncture I decided to reduce my comedic vein and focus on the road I was placed on.


I sold myself short and let go of inner joy so I could face the music like an adult.  Instead of humor I relied on being somber.  I squashed my desire to laugh things off and showed a more serious side of myself.  It was foreign at first, but soon it became the new norm.


I regret that decision.  I would like to think that God has a sense of humor and he enjoys our using or sharing that perspective every now and then.  Humor is a gift and it should (when used properly) be appreciated and not set aside never to be heard from again.  Humor is properly used for example when you are trying to alleviate a stressful situation by interjecting comedic responses.  Humor should never be used as a weapon to hurl insults or cause offense to others or any specific group of people.  It is a good coping mechanism in which one can use to diffuse an intense moment.  To take a break from that moment and have a good laugh.  It can even help one see clearer and gain insight.


I mistook how to interpret the situation at the time.  I changed who I was to please someone else or to become who others felt I should be.  However, that sense of humor was a natural part of me and should never have been discarded.  I am not saying not to take things seriously.  We have to face the facts at some point.  I went from one extreme to another and a lot of bad times lived in between those opposite ends.  I had forgone laughing as if I was trying to punish myself for the dire situation I was in.  In actuality, I would have been in that situation one way or another and my perspective needed a little wiggle room for me to be able to step back and then assess the situation in full.  However, humor is an important tool that helps us build a healthy emotional base.  It can strengthen us and it can heal us as well.  As the old adage goes:  Laughter is the best medicine.


After putting much thought into this, I decided I need more laughter, not less.  I need to find more to laugh about.  Take a moment and just let it go.  Find the humor and laugh like you have never laughed before.  Remember a laugh a day will keep problems at bay.

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