“Laugh and the world will laugh with you; Weep and you will weep alone.” Ella Wheeler Wilcox
It takes 43 muscles to frown and only 17 muscles to smile.
Healing Through Hope and Humor – https://findingstrengthtostandagain.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/through-humor-and-hope-we-shall-heal/
Laughing at what life hands you is a choice. It is a conscious decision each of us can make. At times, it is a rather hard decision, but we are creatures of free-will. With this understanding, it might be better to laugh and smile as we feel the painful situation pass. As the saying goes, sometimes we merely need to “fake it until we make it”.
Recently I was honored to attend the departure of a military group. The USS Higgins pulled away from the pier as family members waved goodbye. There were tears. There were a lot of tears. Both, from the innocent eyes of young children and the eyes of the seasoned spouses, painful tears fell. I watched with a heavy heart as the ship pulled away carrying nearly three hundred service members. Each of them left behind the role of a husband or wife, a dad or son, a father or mother. But in my heart, I had an immense amount of pride for the job these sailors do. I had dry eyes that morning. I turned to one young bride whose shoulders were shaking as she wept, and I offered that we could turn into the crazy stalker wives. I explained, if we jumped into our car quickly we could race to Seaport Village. Once we were there, we could watch the ship as it pulled around the bend. We could embarrass our kids and keep yelling out words of love to the passing ship. Then we could again race to the car and rush through red lights to make it up to Cabrillo National Monument where we could see it head off into the open ocean. I laughed and said up there we could again start yelling at the top of our lungs, “Can you please come back? Hey hurry home!” She laughed. There were tears left on the pier that morning as many sailors carried away pieces of their loved one’s hearts. But that morning there was also a little hope and a cautious laughter offered to the world. It is okay to hurt, but it helps to smile.
Life does and will, without question, knock us to the ground on occasion. When this happens, there are different ways we can handle it. You could look around, pull your knees to your chest and cry. There will be an awkward moment as people watch, but eventually people will be drawn towards you and offer support. Your other option is to look around and exclaim, “Hey, how did my other foot just trip me? That wasn’t right!” Laugh, get up and brush yourself off. Sure, your knees may be bruised. Your ego may have even taken a hit, also. However, the pain will wear away. Keep walking and keep moving. Your knee will be stiff for a while. There may be a slight, lingering pain that you will be left with. But the world, the observers watching, they will comfortably join you. They will come to your side not in pity, but in joy. In your hope, they can find reason to celebrate. You have found the strength to stand again.
Every day we have a choice to laugh or to cry. Every day we have the right to feel sorrow or sadness within our souls. Today, I will smile. Today I will laugh. I hope it is contagious. I would love to see your smile. Soon enough the bruises will fade, the stiff knee will again bend with ease and our families will be all together once again.