Taught By Example

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 14th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Education

I wrote this article as part of the requirement for a wonderful online course I took called "42daysofwriting." This course taught us how to write in the flow of consciousness genre letting my ideas flow on paper without reservation.

Introduction

Warm smiles, infectious laughter and love will change the very essence of me. It will change my outlook and my attitude towards life and all that it encompasses.

Learning to laugh

I do not find myself as a person who laughs quite as much as I should. I was always a very serious person and for me that is a positive, a good part of me, but yet I feel I have missed out by not laughing as much as I could. It is hard for me to take life less than seriously. It is like something inside of me says, "Carol, you have one life to live if you don't take it seriously who else will?"

Even though that statement holds true, it also is very limiting. I believe in balance, I believe in the yin and yang, and universal harmony, but I failed to see a simple truth; there is no life without laughter. When we deny laughter, we become robots, simply going through the basics of existing, never having truly lived life to the fullest. I love to be serious. I must also learn to laugh as well.

I don't want you to think I have never laughed in my life, gosh that would be surreal. But I haven't laughed enough is the message I want to get across. Equally important to note is that when I have laughed, I failed to see the connection laughter brings to healing, loving, and reaching out to other human beings.

I am not bipolar

When I look back at some snippets of my life I see where I have missed golden opportunities to reflect upon the healing power of laughter. One situation I can remember vividly was after the birth of my son. I was twenty-one years old, I just had a caesarian section and I was in pain. I had never felt pain before in my young life. The shock of this first operation for me was the worst. I sat in my hospital bed wishing I was dead. I didn't want to move for fear I would cause myself even more pain. I laid there like dead wood until I was forced to move by a nurse and under duress at that! I was miserable. I wanted to go home; I wanted the pain to just stop.

This particular time in 1976, the popular game show Hollywood Squares was playing on the hospital television set. Milton Berle was one of the celebrities occupying a square. I don't know whether he was just particularly funny on that day, or I just had to hear him to laugh, and laugh I did. I could not contain myself. I sat there holding my stomach, which was screaming out in pain, and I laughed myself almost into a stupor. But that laugh was so good. It was a healing laugh. I still felt the pain, but the pain was no longer foremost in my life at that moment. I had transcended the physical pain and I was healing the emotional pain and oh how good it felt.

I have often noticed throughout my life when I have been at my lowest, when I have hit the black abyss of despair, my body sends out its own healing properties. I begin to laugh at some of the most neutral or boring statements and situations around me. The bigger picture is not that these episodes have any humour in them; it is that my body is releasing the chemical endorphins needed to replenish my core and no just in case you are wondering I am not bipolar.

I can be as giddy as a schoolgirl and perhaps annoying to some, but after the giggles are spent, and the great belly laugh has tired me out, I feel light; the burden of despair lifted from my shoulders, and I feel in balance once more. The laughter may not have taken away the cause of my despair. Yet, it certainly helped me to put it into some kind of perspective so I can deal with it in a different light. The cause of my despair no longer has to have such a negative outcome. I begin to look at ways to improve the situation, ways to cope and move forward. I begin to heal.

A warm smile

Laughter has shown me how to love and reach out to humans. There are lessons from the past I did not heed, but lessons I take very seriously today. One of the most remarkable moments I have ever experienced in my life was when my friend taught me by example how to overcome a discomforting situation and do it with love and laughter.

My friend and I visited a new church. We were guests and we were not officially welcomed as we entered. For whatever reason, most likely stemming from my own insecurities, I felt out of place, and I felt unwanted there. I found the people to be cold, dutiful in their worship to God, but neglectful in the embrace of human kindness towards us, the newcomers. My friend was not experiencing these feelings and was oblivious to the vibes I was picking up around me.

There was a particular family who just kept staring at us. When I would look at them, their eyes appeared cold, there was no welcoming smile, no facial or body motion to make me feel they wanted us or even welcomed us there. I nudged my friend, waking her up from her reverie to tell her about it. She simply listened and said "so" and returned her full attention to the bible text, which was being read. I contained myself for a while then glanced back over to the family behind me. What I saw were six pairs of cold eyes staring back at me. I couldn't stand it any longer. I nudged my friend again to let her know how I felt.

What she did at that point completely floored me. She did not dismiss me, she did not ignore me, but she taught me a lesson through example. She turned around and gave her biggest smile to that family. The smile was reciprocated; instead of six angry eyes staring back at me there were three bright and loving smiles. My friend's smile warmed their hearts and infiltrated my soul. I too felt warm inside and now I felt accepted as well.

After church the grandmother, mother, and daughter, waited for us. They introduced themselves and invited us over to share Sunday dinner with them. A warm friendship blossomed from a single smile and we shared many years of love and laughter together from that point forward.

All photos taken from the public domain

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Tags

A Good Laugh, Alughter, Laughing, Yin And Yang

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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Comments

author avatar Shamarie
15th May 2015 (#)

Congrats on the star page, Carol! I enjoyed reading this post!

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