Monthly Mantra: August, 2021

August 1, 2021




They say non-attachment is a sign of the enlightened. And non-judgment. If those are, a sense of humor must be, too.

Life is absurd. There’s really no better way to refer to a reality where the concern about cellulite can coexist with cultural warfare, famine with frenemies, and genocide with “gubernatorial” (an undeniably funny sounding word).

On the days when life events seem irredeemable and unfair, and tearing down the curtains just to feel powerful seems a tempting scenario, humor is how the wise rise above the nonsense.

The hardship you’re facing is likely filled with irony. The employee at the tile shop whose brainlessness causes you and your partner to launch into a full on, uncharacteristic domestic may be an SNL character IRL. Your dad’s fit about the printer not connecting to his computer may be a comedy sketch waiting to be written. Even your loss contains humor. Even your grieving brings with it priceless moments of hilarity…if we want to laugh, we will never seem to lack material at which to laugh.

We can keep perspective and prioritize joy by laughing at whatever happens. Or we can weep.

A healthy person allows herself to do both, certainly, but she chooses to see the humor more.

Humor buoys us through the distress. It is the metaphorical throwing one’s hands up in the air, doing away with any attempt to control the uncontrollable, and laughing at the notion that you are a blip in the billions of years of existence of the universe.

From that perspective, most circumstances are pretty benign. Actually, they’re probably hilarious.

It is no accident that the people who suffer the greatest hardships are often the ones most prone to laughing. They know the healing power of humor, how it makes the not-being-able-to-make-sense-of-things okay and tempers the hurt.

It’s like that meme of a dog sitting in a house that’s ensconced in flames, who is captioned as saying, “This is fine.”

When there’s nothing more for you to do; when you can’t change how hard circumstances are; when your plan backfires; when you’re sputtering words through your tears like a crazy person, humor is always there for you. There with you. It’s the bolt of lightning that cuts through the skies to diffuse the darkness and remind you that at least in this moment, everything truly is fine. Fine enough to survive.


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