Can a Joke Prevent Hopelessness?
Proverbs 17:22 says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Think about that for a minute. That is talking about your health...mental and physical. It does your heart good, like medicine! BUT....a broken spirit dries the bones. What kind of visual do you get in your head when you think of dried bones? I think of something about to crack or shatter....dried up and with no life left in it. Have you felt like that lately?
In our podcast, we spoke about laughter, jokes, and a sense of humor even during crisis. Our family was no stranger to hard times and extremely difficult moments. It was just how things were......almost all the time. Our dad was not healthy (in fact, he was slowly dying), we had two brothers with severe disabilities and we were under constant financial pressure as a family. (**Although, somehow mom and dad always made sure we had what we needed and now as an adult, I understand the difficulty of that monumental task when the resources just weren't there.)
So, what did we do as a family. We LAUGHED! Now, it wasn't funny ALL of the time, but we would always look back at a situation and find the humor in things. We often said, "if we don't laugh, we'll cry so we'll choose to laugh!" It was a choice. A conscious decision on our part to find the humor in any situation we could.
Shortly before my mom passed away, I went through a period of anxiety and depression. It's even hard for me to admit that via the keyboard let alone say it out loud. I felt defeated and I knew that mom's time was getting shorter and I knew what I was about to face. It was months and months of fear for me. Then one day, something happened (*I can't even tell you what it was that made me laugh), but I laughed HARD.....and for a long time. After I had regained my composure, it hit me HARD that I hadn't laughed like that in a long, long time. I felt sad knowing my laughter had disappeared. I knew I NEEDED to laugh more often.
I look back at the times that were the most difficult and realize that it was in those moments that we became stronger. Tougher. More compassionate. That's what the school of hard knocks can do for you. It can make you or break you.
Let it make you. Let it make you laugh. Let it heal you. Let it build you up and give you strength. Laughter is infectious. Lately?? We need more of that in this world.....find the humor in things and spread the laughter.