This week . . . I laughed so hard I spit my food right out onto the table.
Have you ever done that? Laughed so hard it all came back out? I remember once as a kid, I’d just taken a big drink of orange juice and my brother said something funny at the dinner table and it all came out - through my nose! We laughed even harder after that.
It’s been a while though.
This week I got together with a friend. We had dinner and chatted about a common flaw we share: neither of us are great with technology.
Both of us have been brought to our knees by a company called “CD BABY” - it’s a place you can go to get your songs put onto itunes and Spotify, etc. She had to get help for hours from multiple sources before she got her songs up. Me, well, it’s been almost a full year and my songs still aren’t up.
We talked about our experience trying to get the thing going and the number and nature of bad words we’d said while wrestling with the program. Us. Two church girls. We laughed so hard, and that’s when I, yeah, I spit my food right out onto the table. I was eating “Swimming Rama” and it flew. I grabbed my napkin real quick to cover it up so I don’t think she noticed - not that she would have cared. But I couldn't help myself. We LAUGHED. SO. HARD.
When was the last time you laughed so hard you couldn’t keep it together?
It’s one of my most favorite things.
Laughter does something for us. It connects us. Bonds us. Sends out all these wonderful chemicals in our bodies that make us feel good and safe. Google it. There are so many articles. Reduces blood pressure. Relaxes your brain. Can relieve pain.
I read one article that said, “laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.” So I’m thinking, maybe we need to laugh our way through the rest of this pandemic!
When I laughed with my friend, my heart felt so full, I felt so known, even in a weakness- I felt loved.
This week my mom took my girls fishing. They didn’t catch a thing - well, nothing alive. They kept getting snagged by branches and leaves. When my daughters came home one of them said, “My bobber was too small. It kept on getting pulled under. I need a bigger one.” You know bobbers? The red and white ball thing you attach to your fishing line, helps suspend your bait to the depth where fish are swimming… also helps you see your line in the water?
I think that’s hope. Your bobber. And it needs to be big enough so that it doesn’t constantly sink with whatever bait you’ve got on the hook.
So the beautiful thing here for us is this: hope can grow.
You can grow a bigger hope. A bigger bobber.
Hope comes from our beliefs.
I think sometimes a hope killer is taking ourselves too seriously. When we believe that we are super important or we believe we need to make sure other people believe certain things about us, respect certain things about us.
I want everyone to think I’m perfect - and THAT makes me very serious and very stressed out. A whole lot of no fun. Laughing with my friend reminded me about that.
One of my kids is GREAT at laughing at herself. Once she was making a cat out of playdough and it was turning out badly. I was trying to encourage her and she just started laughing and held it up and said, “It looks horrible! It looks like a piece of poo with eyes!” And we both laughed. And breathed. And connected. And all was well.
You can only laugh when you are not taking yourself too seriously. Laughter relieves stress, it never causes it.
Help your hope grow. Laugh. Find something to laugh about.
This week - when you would usually defend your “honor” after a mistake, when you trip and would usually pretend there was a random rock in your way (or you pretend your stumble was part of a planned dance move), when you muddle your words, when you burn supper… don’t dig in defensively! LAUGH.
That is MY goal this week. To laugh at myself when I would usually defend my dignity. Stay tuned. I'll post or communicate it. It's really IMPORTANT! If you laugh at yourself, I'd LOOOOOVE to hear about it too!! , PLEASE SHARE!!
And second - Laugh. What makes you laugh? I love Lucy? Calvin & Hobbes? The Far Side? Get that stuff out! Watch it. Read it. Listen to it!
Practice fun. Practice joy. Practice laughter. And I think hope will grow and like that little bobber, you won’t get dragged under so easily.
PS. What did 0 say to 8? Nice belt!
Bonus: What do you call a boomerang that won’t come back? A stick.