“What a wonderful life I’ve had! – I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” Colette
I used to think that happiness was created “out there” by other people, food or music, or things going my way. Now I know it comes from within and that I can choose my experience. I can write my own spiritual script.
“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.” Shakespeare
Playing the Enlightened Fool
Our lives are the most important story we will ever write and this physical existence is the stage where we have chosen to play out our stories. Is yours a comedy, tragedy or melodrama? Although mine often feels like a tragedy or a melodrama, I try at least to give it comic overtones. Sometimes I enjoy playing the fool, who, if you remember from Shakespeare’s plays, was often wiser than the hero. The fool was often the means by which the power of the time was encouraged to laugh at itself.
When my ego begins to think it’s going to run the show, I try to play the fool and laugh at myself. There was a time when I couldn’t do this at all. I was a very insecure young person and very self-conscious, always afraid of someone’s criticism or of being rejected. I was very serious about everything and considered too much laughter trivial. I couldn’t stand to be laughed at. Now I revel in it.
Laughing for Spiritual Well-Being
One aspect of happiness is being able to laugh at ourselves. This is such a gift. If we can laugh at our shortcomings and mistakes and accept our humanity, we can avoid the kind of self-criticism that tears us down. It’s always wise to take a good look at our mistakes and understand how to avoid them or correct a problem we’ve created. But it’s not spiritually healthy to become attached to our negative thinking.
Laughing at our foibles lifts up our energy vibration. When we’re happy, we’re more likely to make positive decisions and find positive solutions to problems. Playing the fool once in a while helps keep us from taking ourselves too seriously, for taking ourselves too seriously often sets up a resistance that creates more problems.
Releasing Resistance Frees Us
The most important resistance we need to avoid and release is the need to be right. This is often the flaw we see in Shakespeare’s tragic characters. Unable to view their challenges with a more flexible mind set, they follow a path that eventually destroys all they value. Like these characters, we may become so attached to a particular point of view that we are unable to see the weaknesses in our thinking and plunge headlong into a disaster. Laughing at ourselves or being laughed at can often break this unhealthy attachment and release the resistance.
Choosing the Gift of Happiness
I love this quote by Colette: “What a wonderful life I’ve had! – I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” What are you focusing on in your life? Are you making the time to enjoy Nature, your friends and family or creative outlets? Are you finding something to be grateful for each day?
In order to experience happiness, we have to be thankful for what we have and willing to let go of our need to control life. The best laughter usually comes from the unexpected. Caught by surprise by a spontaneous comment or response, we let go and enjoy the foolishness of the moment.
When I say things that really make people laugh, they are always unplanned and leap from my mouth before I even know what I intend to say. From some place of inner joy or mischief, the idea leaps forth into being. I’m always delighted when I can make others laugh, even when I embarrass myself. No matter what is happening with the stock market, world economy, or the Turkeys on The Hill (as in D. C.), we all need some comedic interludes. We need to remember that childhood joy is still alive in us and if we can’t solve our problems today or even tomorrow, we can celebrate our humanity and laugh it up.
Feel free to share a comment, a funny joke, or absurd thought. Let’s laugh it up today. We probably all need it.
© 2011 Georganne Spruce
Related Link: Seven Secrets of a Joyful Life – Wayne Dyer