Did you ever find yourself laughing at something and suddenly realizing how long it has been since you laughed? I had that experience last week, when a friend and colleague called me after work and asked an innocent question which I misinterpreted. After a moment of awkward silence, we both burst out laughing at my folly and continued to laugh heartily for a whole minute. The rest of our conversation was full of smiles and giggles and I hung up the phone feeling such an immense joy. A split second later, though, I felt a wave of sadness when I realized how long it had been since I had laughed that hard.
My close friends and family will tell you that I have always been a serious person, especially as a child. My mom once walked into the room while I was laying on my back on the floor with my hands gently folded on my chest, apparently trying to imagine what it would be like to die. Although it sounds morbid, I guess I’ve always thought deeply, pondered the universe, wondered at things most people miss, and asked difficult questions of God and others. When stuck in the throes of disordered eating, the voice of “Ed” took most joy away completely. One of the first things I learned when getting out of B.E.D. was just how much joy I had missed out on.
Yesterday I was at the gym, doing my usual (serious) workout and suddenly heard a woman on the treadmill burst into full-belly cascades of laughter. I looked up and saw her friend next to her smiling genuinely, perhaps having just said something to make her laugh, and before I knew it, I was laughing. The two of them have no idea how helpful to me was their spontaneous outpouring of joy. However, it reminded me of the need to seek out joy, look for laughs, and share them with others.
How long has it been since you laughed? Spend some time this week seeking out ways to find and express your joy through laughter!
Peace, laughter, and health,