Laughter: the best medicine

Someone I love was recounting a memory to me: a memory that could probably get him into trouble even though it evoked a laugh-out-loud moment for me. He then said with all seriousness, “Yeah, but that was a year ago, so I can’t get into trouble for that now.” Again, laughter danced. How many great stories are told a year later, five years later, or more? Is there really a statute of limitations on a good story?

The human condition is written into tales of twists and turns, ups and down, and imperfect journeys. Conflicts, ironies, climatic moments, unheeded foreshadowings, and symbolic learnings create the best stories. The comedic dramas, romantic comedies, and action adventures are being written on the pages of our lives.

A friend told me about her experience, and I couldn’t help but let the laughter escape. I’m sure the moment itself was awkward and uncomfortable, but now in the safety of our quiet conversation it provided absurd humor. To laugh together and shake our heads at the antics of someone’s romantic advances toward a stranger provided comic relief to the somewhat stressful monotony of life.

I absolutely love being around people with infectious laughter or a great sense of humor. Quick, witty responses can bring joy and doesn’t have to be at someone’s expense. Whether in person or through a phone line, laughter offers the same freedom to my soul. In laughter, I am free to come out and play.

It’s all an adventure. We turned where the GPS said to turn, but the dirt road seemed to disappear into a trail along the ridge of a canyon. My traveling companion’s eyes were wide as she said, “I don’t think this is right.” I shrugged my shoulders and said, “What could happen?” With all the seriousness she could muster she replied, “Oh, I don’t know. We could slide off into that canyon.” Again, laughter danced.

I am reminded of the medicine that laughter brings to my existence. I know that taking life a little less seriously can be a healing balm. Seeing the humor in crazy situations that come uninvited can be cathartic. Today, I will open the door to a smile, greet joy warmly, and invite laughter to dance.