Thursday, June 22, 2006

Difficult Weeks

If you’ve read my blog for any time at all, you know how important I believe it is to find reasons to smile and laugh NO MATTER WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE.

I had a reminder of this recently. I had one of those weeks where things just blew up out of control. One of those weeks where it would have been all too easy to ask myself why I even try.

It matters that every day we find reasons to smile or laugh. If life is going well, it lets us set a pattern that carries us through on days when things don’t go well. In a sense, we are breaking years of conditioning that told us to expect to be unhappy and why not? Why should we let ourselves stay hostage to the past?

During weeks like the one I mention above, making sure I found reasons to smile and laugh was a tangible anchor to hold onto, proving that I had the power to be happy no matter what other people did. It was proof to me that I was no longer hostage to the actions of others.

We need that. More than anything else, those of us who have gone through traumatic experiences need hope. We need to have a reason to believe we can make our lives happier, that we can laugh and smile again. We need, when something goes wrong, a way to believe it won’t always be this way.

Mind you, I believe this is an optimal strategy for everyone—whether they were ever abused or not. I believe that life is about always growing—for everyone—and it’s easier to do the work to grow and change and stretch our comfort zones if we are finding ways to laugh and smile as we do so.

As I’ve said so many times, we cannot always control what happens around and to us. Life happens. We ALWAYS, however, have the ability to choose how we respond to what happens.

During that difficult week, I made sure I found reasons to smile and laugh despite the stress. I also made myself ask one of the most difficult questions: What good could come out of this?

I HATE asking that question when something is going wrong! I want to kick and fuss and throw a temper tantrum! And in my head, I often do, railing against the unfairness of life. But deep down I know that the most empowering thing I can do, the thing that will help ME the most, is to ask: What good could come out of this?

And the weird thing is that once I asked that question, I got answers. I realized three or four or five things that were good that came out of that week. Much of it was self-knowledge, but self-knowledge that will let me take steps to make things better for myself in the future. I am profoundly grateful for those answers and the knowledge contained within them.

So every day, please, PLEASE find reasons and ways to smile and laugh—even if it’s just for a few moments at a time. When something goes wrong, for your own sake, to make YOUR life better, stop and ask: What good could come out of this?

Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),
April_optimist

4 comments:

Wanda's Wings said...

This is a great post. Laughter is a wonderful medicine! We were made to laught and enjoy life. Some of us are "slow" to get started, but nothing is better than getting or giving a smile.
(( safe hugs))

This is my first time here. Love you Posts!

john michael said...

words to live by, truly. My wife is multiple, a survivor and she now recognizes the need to laugh, to find some humor in all happenings. sghe is striving to become a thriver as are so many others!!

Take care and thanks for saying it again, never can hear some things enough!!

john and keepers

http://www.keeperskorner.com

April_optimist said...

Wanda's Wings,

Thanks. And yes, laughter is great medicine! In my own life, I've seen my health get better and better as I smiled and laughed more and more. Safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))).

April_optimist said...

John,

So glad your wife realizes the power of humor and laughter. Good for her! She IS a thriver already. I am so glad she has you for support. My best to both of you.