“Allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”
With hurricanes + hurt + general humanity feeling particularly abundant these days it is important to remember the benefits of laughter on the soul, so that’s what I will be focusing on for this Sunday Sanity.
I know I get bogged down from time to time- some seasons more days than others. It’s hard not to be burdened by things going on in our personal lives and in the world. Being saddened by such things is not a crime, but rather the mark of a tender heart. A tender heart is something to be cherished. We should not be foolishly stoic in the midst of heartbreak and hurt. We are not called to be emotionally resistant, untouchable, or unaffected, but rather the opposite. We should have empathy, compassion, and a heart that is touched by burdens both our own and other’s.
But it is a fact that continually throughout the course of a tender hearted life, burdens can and will become overwhelming. When we become overwhelmed with the imperfection of life, one small thing can help us shift our gloomy focus: humor.
Using humor in the face of despairing circumstances allows us to shift the dismal thought process to a simpler one. Laughter allows us to accept the pain and still find a glimmer of joy.
Here is an example:
When I was 18 I had to wear a diaper to my prom because I had/have a chronic illness called Ulcerative Colitis that caused me to have a loss of control of my bowels. Embarrassing, right? Upsetting? Definitely. Wearing a diaper to prom is mainly just sad, honestly. It’s got very few benefits apart from the fact that it meant I could actually GO to prom and have a good time without worrying about what would happen if I didn’t get to the nearest restroom in time. But you know what got me through? Laughing at the fact that although wearing a diaper to prom was embarrassing, I was such a scrawny teen from being so sick the diaper actually made my dress fit better because I had no booty so that no one would even have guessed it was a diaper. My flat behind saved the day so that I could wear a diaper and weirdly feel slightly more confident about my slim figure. This probably isn’t that funny to a healthy person. It may just all sound sad. But dear friend, it wasn’t near as sad for me because I found a little humor in it!
The humor you find doesn’t have to be funny to everyone. It doesn’t have to be worthy of telling a crowd, it just has to brighten your circumstance and make you feel a little less hopeless.
Maybe you can’t find the humor in your situation. Maybe it’s hard to think outside the hurt. I’d encourage you to use your funny resources in these scenarios. When you think about it, you have so many funny resources all around you! That friend you always laugh with when you get together. That favorite tv show that hits with your funny bone. That Instagram video of a dancing pug (if you think I am kidding about this one you are in for a treat. Watch it here.)
Give yourself time to laugh. Not kidding, make TIME to laugh in your day. It can be brief, but schedule something intentional that will help lift your spirit in trying times. Laugh with hope that one day you will laugh without pain. Allow your burdened soul to find small humorous joys in every trial you encounter.