If you can’t laugh at yourself, someone else will!
I made an embarrassing mistake, I can choose to react from outside myself or from my singular position. Viewing and reacting in light of my perspective in personal justification I may resist change, miss out on learning, and very possibly have to cope with people laughing privately or publicly. Turning a situation of folks laughing at me, to folks laughing with me, is a meaningful shift achieved by merely laughing along. Understanding an outside perspective, and why it may appear funny to others, will allow us to use the situation to grow closer, rather than further from those around us. Of course, a great benefit to this approach of seeing an outside perspective of our own life, is that it allows us to learn and adjust more readily, and pursue growth more effectively. The best benefit is laughter! Of the myriad of health benefits laughter brings, the best is that purity of enjoyment of life. Eating, drinking, and communing with others and nature are some of the simplest but richest parts of life, and laughter represents one of the few activities which brings pure bliss and investment into the moment. Perhaps laughter is the greatest experience we can enjoy with anyone both privately and publicly. When we can choose to laugh and grow at the same time, surely choosing to grudgingly ‘clam up’ is a poor alternative.
“Laughter has overcome emotions that years of justification, revenge, or even therapy cannot alleviate.”
Why do we see such inferior routes taken in reaction to moments of personal failure or awkward moments? Certainly, it is an instinctual reaction to protect, to justify, to attempt to paint quickly over a mistake. However, as beings capable of reasoning beyond instinct, we can identify the plethora of areas where logic has led us to stay our instincts, in places where our tendency to protect does us harm, and keeps us from greater things.
Try laughing. It is a reaction that feels impossible at first, facing down the wall of emotion. However, it is a mere mist of deceit that we cannot react in spite of a temporary but overwhelming feeling. A burgeoning smile, in spite of a deep gut frustration, how quickly it breaks down the wall of anger to budding mirth and often even embarrassment at the immaturity of where our baser notions can lead.
Choose the last laugh. If given free rein, deep resting joy can overcome anger or frustration. It may take time, it will take getting used to. It will conquer. Laughter has overcome emotions that years of justification, revenge, or even therapy cannot alleviate.
Laugh last, you’ll be surprised how quickly enemies retreat and hold back in the future. You’ll be surprised how friends and acquaintances grow closer and more comfortable. You’ll be surprised how laughter allows you to grow in life and in acceptance and in opening your heart to folks we may otherwise build defenses against. You’ll be surprised to find many of the defenses built were only against our deeper self as it sought to nourish us. Laugh last, it’s funny anyway. The difference between a drama and a comedy or satire, is if we choose to laugh.
He who laughs at himself, laughs last.