A key to happiness is laughter. I’ve always known it; so much so, that I used to over-laugh. My therapist used to compare me to the Cheshire Cat, questioning what was behind my constant smile. I was the positive, healthy voice in almost all groups. I cracked jokes often, and laughed even more. But I was far from happy, never healthy, and hardly anything actually amused me. I laughed at myself, my life, the world. My actions were never congruent with my words. I brushed off my feelings through giggles. I held back my tears, smiling through the pain. And, to be honest, I was unrelatable, unreachable, untouchable, inauthentic, and, quite frankly, just plain annoying.
Eventually, I broke. In fact, I was broken. Over and over and over. I had to cry to heal, and boy, did I cry. Someone once asked me, “What would happen if we embraced sadness the way we embrace the good? What if we just looked at sadness, jealousy, anger, and the like, and said hello?” I found it profound. That statement altered my life.
I find myself, now, mostly in acceptance of the pain. It takes work, and it’s hard to, simultaneously, not become consumed by it. I am in the practice of greeting my emotions and circumstances equally, an art that I’m sure will take time to master. With this, I have discovered that, the less I resist the negative and actively embrace and reach out in the moment, the faster it passes, and the more I can welcome new, brighter moments, ones that are true to my core.
The more I have cried, the more I have discovered what joy means. As many times as I have bawled, I have those in which I have laughed. And, for once, I now know laughter. The laughter that doesn’t take effort, doesn’t leave your mouth dry, doesn’t give you a headache from the force with which you’ve emitted it. I know the laughter that feels light. I know the rumble in your chest that bursts out through your eyes, mouth, heart. I know the quiver of delight. And, that, I still believe is a key to happiness. Because, let’s face it, it is easier to greet shiny things.
To increase my laughter, and my happiness, I have become a fan of youtube. Below are some videos that let in the fun tears…
The last is, I think, my favorite. Such a cute baby lawyer!
P.S. Feel free to share the things that make you laugh below 🙂