Permission to Laugh a Lot

Keep ’Em Laughing, Photo by Doug Dresser

Laughter is the medicine from where to begin to love again. Smiles that turn to giggles, then blooming into sweeping roars of rolling laughs hard to settle down are the most supreme antidote for any life toxin. I completely get the piles of poo that may be clouding your view. I, too, could rage with you until the dying of the light about the failures, disruptions, victimhood, why-me syndrome, lottery winners, or how you can’t take any more kissy-face sweethearts pouring their every successful move onto the Internet plate. But I won’t let myself rally with you for any of this. Remembering to take a pause in the moments when I start to sour sets a new pace. Instead, I’ve learned the power of laughing.

Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. ~Frida Kahlo

I admit I’m partial to the slamming game of critique over whether young minds and older minds like mine alike are becoming mushy in the non-romantically-lush ways. I’m of the age enough to miss hand-written notes passed in class from the one you hoped liked you. People used to take the time to make phone calls where you could practically hear their heartbeat if the music wasn’t too loud. Nowadays, we’re caught in the rotation of typing or dictating our voice into text characters to send as messages we could have showered upon our receivers as an audio elixir. One of the primary reasons I keep adoring social media is its medicinal qualities. Beneath the squabbling of politics and racial slurs, I know exactly where to look to find inspiration, kindness, authenticity, relief, redemption, truth, and loads of content to keep me laughing all the way home, to the gym, out on a new date, between the sheets, in the shower, at the doctor, and especially high-fiving with my goddess sisters cheering in unison.

Time and again the stink of stress leads our way. Historically, I amassed the bulk of my days with over-compensating for my low self-worth by keeping others lives managed flawlessly. For the record, it is nearly impossible to laugh when you’re stressed. It comes out sounding more akin to the shrieks of a cat showering with razor blades. Nobody wants a sourpuss kitty on their hands. Padded walls are like a padded mindset. They are someone else’s idea of protecting you from yourself. Actually, what’s often missing isn’t silence, nor fake comforts, so much as permission to take life lightly. We are too hard on ourselves and we restrict others to this stranglehold. Slowly, over years of weaning from perfectionism, I extricated fits of laughter from my self-built and societal-induced box of suffocation.

It’s a dodgy hallucination to think we don’t owe it to ourselves to laugh more often. Laughing is indeed a cure for the wicked woes and the throes of intricacies gone awry. Pretending to laugh is time better spent doubled over with true hysterics, eyes blinded shut with funny years rolling down your face due to the loud guffaws you’re making causing nearby humans to make a wide berth from where you walk or crashing into your personal space to get an injection of your hilarious attitude. Do not deceive yourself to believe you can fully live without a serious lot of ludicrous merriment. Be yours tame, or cackles, convulsions or hysterics that render you losing it in others eyes, my hope for you is the pure side-splitting fits that leave an air of laughter trailing you enough to awaken any soul in your wake.

Soul-searching with a side of ferocious humor has become a full-time job for me the latest years. I didn’t apply for this gig, as it fell in my lap when my income circumstances took a turn away from regular work as I’d known it for a few decades. I soon settled into a choice where I get paid in various flavors of karmic personal resolve. The benefits far outweigh your standard United States health insurance (though, that’s sadly not a peak comparison). The on-bated-breath job offers didn’t come rolling in, the scale tipped two-hundred pounds, and I haven’t had someone spoon me in what seems like light years. Yet, I laughed aloud to the uncanny cleverness of Emma Stone in The Favourite on my laptop screen. Knowing where to find shrewd behavior, inspirational dialogue, and legit lifestyle enigmas lift my spirits as living, laughing ointment to wash away any stumbling state of mind.

Fiercely defend your right to laugh an awful lot.

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