Day 6: For Laughter

If we’re destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff, there’s got to be a very powerful energy to fight that. I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.
— Ellen DeGeneres
The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
— Mark Twain

I went through a phase where I had a daily dose of Jimmy Fallon. My friend and I would text a skit or a game or something hilarious he was doing to each other and I would laugh uncontrollably in the middle of the day. It was beautiful. 

And I remember making a little vow in my heart: Every day. I HAVE to laugh every day. It's like air to my lungs. Don't go to bed without having laughed.

But just like my annual daily-flossing vow each January, I have abandoned it. 

Good thing it's not too late to laugh (or floss) today.  

My favorite people are hilarious. I remember being at work and things got outrageous; I was laughing so hard I was sliding down against the wall and peeing just a little bit (the gift of giving birth just KEEPS on giving) about some banter regarding shredded meat.  

And my husband uses humor as a sword to cut through tension, to point out the absurd, and to keep us playful and friends. What a gift it is to lighten up and let go. 

And aren't we grateful? For the things that make us laugh? For the release, the joy, the absurdity? 

Take a moment and think through the last time you laughed hard and what you were doing and who you were with. Who are your favorite people to laugh with? Let's tell them today. If that feels strange to do, tell them I made you do it. Blame me. I'll be fine. Our gratitude grows as we name it and share it.  

And what are those things that make us laugh? Let's get to it! Seinfeld episodes? A sarcastic, over-the-top text from your sister? The Three Stooges? Dad-jokes? Whatever it is - laughing is clinically proven to improve your very LIFE.

-Laughter will improve your immune system: Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
-Laughter can relieve pain: Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
-Laughter will increase personal satisfaction: Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
-Laughter will improve your mood: Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.
— The Mayo Clinic

If you need to laugh, maybe this will help you today. May we be people who laugh easily and without shame; without shame about what our laugh sounds or looks like - who cares! We are laughing!  May we be freed up to laugh loudly and often.

May our humor be at our own expense and not others - full of grace and silliness and joy. May we tell those who bring levity and humor to our lives that we are so very thankful for them. They are healers and joy-bringers and they need to know it. 

God, thank you for laughter that leaves us crying. For the times when we are carefree and full of joy and silliness. Thank you that you loved to laugh and enjoy friends and you gave us a way to bond with others in positive, contagious ways. Thank you for those who make us laugh the most. For those who are a blast to laugh with. You love to give gifts and this is all part of it. Thank you for the spirituality of laughter. 

So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and be merry. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.
— Ecclesiastes 8
She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
— Proverbs 31