Right this second I am racking my brain, really searching my bank of experiences, to see if there is a better feeling than a good, hard laugh. I can't think of one.
Humor lightens everything - it lightens THE AIR. Laughter breaks the ice, binds us together, and comprises our very best memories. Our favorite days are the days we LAUGHED, hard.
When I am around my people it isn't vulnerability or intensity or prayer that bubbles up, it's silliness.
My best friends are my silly friends. My favorite people are people who laugh easy. My favorite authors make me laugh out loud. My favorite parents are parents that laugh at and with their kids - that find the whole thing entertaining.
If you are a teacher, a parent, a husband, a wife, a boss, a pastor, or a political figure, I humbly request MORE HUMOR. I'd like to see some wit, some silliness, maybe a dash of satire. I believe that humor is tragically, woefully, underused in business, church, therapy, academia and EVERY OTHER PLACE. It's so effective.
Also, humor is a survival tool, straight up.
A few months ago, I was all battered and beat up by life. I was plum out of feelings and thoughts and words, and was wandering through my house like a zombie. I was the undead, incapable of reading, writing, doing dishes, returning texts, or caring that new episodes of Scandal went up on Netflix. It was bad.
One night, I was in need of a feeling. Any feeling. Anger, hope, compassion, conviction, accomplishment - any feeling would do. I turned to the vast, vast internet. I checked every single social media outlet that exists, and they all sucked. I thought,
"WHY IS THE INTERNET SO BORING TODAY?"
It was so boring that I opened up Pinterest. PINTEREST - the place of crafts and recipes and weight-loss scams disguised as before and after bathroom mirror selfies. I pulled up my boards to see if there was anything I'd saved for later that I could build or create. Working with my hands is therapy: no abstract thinking, just reasoning and sweating and figuring stuff out.
In case you aren't familiar with Pinterest, it allows you to have up to 3 secret boards, where you can collect ideas and images that no one else can see.
My secret boards are called "Cornball," "Profane," and "Reclaiming my body." They are filled with internet memes I'm embarrassed to love, profane pins that I can't pin publicly because some people are sensitive about that and I get it, and fistpiration stuff/tattoo ideas - respectively. (I think that sums up a lot about me as a person. Related thought: if you are considering dating a person, check out their secret Pinterest boards.)
On this night of the living dead, I opened my "Cornball" board. And do you know what happened? I LAUGHED.
I laughed SO HARD. It started as a giggle, which surprised me, and before long, I was sitting alone in my kitchen BUSTING A GUT and wiping away the tears.
I think this image was the turning point:
Here is what I know: There is no hug, no prayer, no Bible verse, no hard rain that could have infused that kind of joy and hope back into my life.
I laughed and laughed, and with every stupid cat picture I remembered that I was a fun person. That I could laugh easy, at stupid things. I remembered what it felt like to be light, and to delight in things. Not deep life-is-beautiful-and-I-am-blessed delight. SILLY delight.
Laughter is sacred. It's right up there with prayer.
A few weeks ago my friend Sara asked me kind of jokingly about how to survive being 24 and undergoing 15 major life transitions all at once. I COMPLETELY UNJOKINGLY said, "Pray a lot. Laugh and sleep as much as you can."
If you do not yet have a corny, internet meme Pinterest board, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Start today. In the meantime, you can borrow a few of mine:
*and eat them myself because you live too far away.