If You Can Laugh, You’re Free

The other day, I got my feelings hurt. 

I immediately called a friend. 

I wasn’t calling to tell my story about how angry and hurt I felt, getting her to agree with me about how horrible it all was.   

I called to laugh.  I laughed at the situation, at the ridiculousness of life.  I laughed at the part of me that is stuck and struggling, that cares so damn much and wants the world to love her and treat her with kid gloves.  I laughed at the crazy ways I try to make it seem like I know what the hell I’m doing, and how hard it can be to admit when I feel pain.   

There’s a method to my madness.  Because I know one simple thing.      

If you can laugh, you’re free. 

There’s now some part of you that doesn’t quite believe your own victim story.  There’s some part of you that has enough room inside of you to take a deep breath and open just a little bit.  There is some part of you that has enough lightness to find humor.

If we can open just a little bit, we can soften.  When we soften, we can come back to our Center, where our true power is.  In our center, we can state our truth without struggle and listen without closing.  We can feel pain without making others wrong.  We can relate without running away.

Laughing is a living, breathing, warmly human way to connect into our Observer/Witness consciousness.  The one who who can feel pain without being consumed by it.       

We are not laughing AT ourselves.  We’re not poking fun of our struggles and how soft and tender our hearts are.  Our struggles are honorable, even if they’re completely made up. 

We are laughing for ourselves, reminding us that as much as we are in pain, our true self is always and forever whole and unscathed.     

When you laugh, it’s a reminder that you are on a giant ball spinning around the Universe in the middle of nowhere, that you are a freaking unique miracle that took billions of years to produce, and that ultimately, this shit is not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.  It reminds you of your Existential Swagger.   

Still, sometimes we push away laughter like a sullen kid.  You’re not taking me seriously!  This isn’t funny!  We use our seriousness to hold onto our sense of self-importance.   

And that’s okay; that may be where we need to be.  We may need to go down all the way, and touch the raw pain at the bottom of our experience before we can start the process of coming back up to take a breath.

But if we can still keep a glimmer of humor around us even in the darkest pits, it makes it less likely that we get trapped down there.  We can keep some part of us that is not one hundred percent identified with our poor-me broken narrative.

So the next time you are thick in the middle of something, call a friend.  And tell your story as the hilarious satire that it actually is.