11102527223_57f282fd7dLast year I was on holiday in Malta with two friends. We were on the bus home from one of our days out. It was an open top bus, and lovely weather, so we sat on top at the front.

Now, two days before, I’d got out the bus on another trip, and tripped over the curb, landing flat on my face. So we were, in light of this, having a chat about my clumsiness.

I was trying to argue this event was a one off, and I wasn’t clumsy. My friends insisted I was. It was all in jest of course, but nevertheless I was adamant I wasn’t clumsy. I was moving to the edge of my chair, making my point strongly and articulately. I was right in the middle of making my argument, when the bus ran over a huge bump in the road.

I fell forward, straight onto the floor of the bus, head into the lap of my friend.

And we all started laughing. Me possibly hardest of all.

Because if you can’t laugh, then you’ll never be able to deal with life. If you take life seriously all the time, you’ll be crushed.

Life can suck at times. Genuinely. Sickness. Abuse. Death. Injustice. Life can be painful, unjust and overwhelming. And it’s not funny. Not at all. And I’d never say laugh at those circumstances. We need to take those situations seriously.

I’ve lost a loved one. I’ve got a medical condition which means I might have a seizure and if I’m not lucky, die. Only last month, I did have a seizure, in the middle of the road, and on another day, I could have been killed.

And of course, none of this is funny.

But there times, appropriately, where you simply have to laugh. I need to laugh at my epilepsy sometimes – because after I’ve taken all the precautions I can, there’s nothing else I can do. And if I dwell on the potential of what could happen, it will overwhelm me. So I don’t. I have learned to laugh.

Right now I am suffering back spasms so painful I can barely move. I’m moving like an 80 year old. And at times I’ve almost wanted to cry it’s so painful. But I actually found myself laughing. Because even thought it’s painful, sometimes you just have to laugh. Because me walking like an old man? Well, it’s kinda funny.

My Mum suffered from a lack of short term memory, caused by asthma. But she never let it get her down.She learned not to take life too seriously. To just laugh at the fact she’d forgotten she had put her glasses on her head so had put on another pair of glasses. Or left her drink in the toilet.

FInding A Balance

Mum 2Of course, we should never use humour as a way of hiding from pain. Of burying our heads in the sand. This is almost as bad, if not worse, as not laughing at all.

We must find a balance. To paraphrase scripture, there is a time to mourn, a time to grieve. There is a time when we need to pray for others, to support them, to take their suffering seriously. And to take our own issues and circumstances seriously.

But there is always a time to laugh.

We need to know when to take life seriously, and when it’s time to laugh. (you can tweet that)

I’ll always miss my Mum. Right after she died I was struggling with grief, as you’d expect. And one way we processed this grief, and I still do, is to think about all the funny stories about her. All the times she forgot things, or got lost. And it’s not like those things were nice, or easy.

But because, in hindsight, they’re funny.

They remind me of her. It’s these quirky little things, these mistakes and struggles, which made her who she was.

So let us choose to have a healthy approach to life. To learn when we need to take life seriously, and when we need to laugh.

As it’s when we know when we should laugh, and when we should’t, we have life in it’s proper perspective.

 

Do you agree or disagree with me? Why/Why not?

Have you learned to laugh at life?

How can you learn the balance between when to laugh and when not to?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

(Photo Credit: Dustin J McClure via Compfight cc)

 

 

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James Prescott

Hi, I’m James. I live near London. I’m a fan of good food, comic-book movies, & books. I love to write, and I coach other writers & creative people. Thank you for being part of my community. read more...