This I Believe

Celeste - Forsyth, Illinois
Entered on August 22, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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LAUGH, AND I’LL LAUGH WITH YOU!

I believe in the power of laughter to heal both body and soul. A genuine laugh immerses you in it, grounding you in the here and now. When you surrender to laughter, you’re not worrying about the past or the future — if only for a moment.

I believe God has a sense of humor – why else would our bodies be wired for laughter? With every chuckle or guffaw, we boost our immune systems, lower our blood pressure, and find relief from stress and pain. I believe laughter can literally raise our vibrations. Witness the way a well-timed joke can cut through a tension-filled room, making the air itself feel lighter. Notice how a grin or giggle instantly transforms a face into one more glowing, more approachable.

There’s nothing better than a belly laugh, and my juvenile sense of humor still finds trips, falls – and yes, even bodily function humor — endlessly entertaining. Dark humor, too, appeals to me for the way it thumbs its nose at polite society, or anyone who dares take life too seriously. Who didn’t love that classic TV episode where Mary Tyler Moore loses it at the funeral of Chuckles the Clown, killed by an elephant while dressed as a peanut?

Make no mistake, laughter can get you through some of life’s less-than-funny moments.

I recall being at my grandfather’s memorial service where his ashes would soon be buried. Lingering for a while after the service, tears filled my eyes as I reached out to touch the marble urn in a final goodbye. But my tender moment took a very wrong turn as I found myself clinging to the urn like a life raft. This was not grief-induced drama on my part. I was simply trying to keep from falling into the open grave I had unwittingly stepped into, fooled by its clever Astroturf camouflage. Who knew a small box of ashes required a hole fit for Andre’ the Giant?

With one leg dangling fully inside grandpa’s eternal resting place, I fortunately — if not gracefully — landed the rest of my body on the ground and erupted into peals of laughter. I felt the concern and confusion of the mourners who remained, but still could not sober up.

How many people can say they’ve had one foot in the grave – literally — and lived to tell about it? Thanks, grandpa, for reminding me that life can be seriously funny.