Lighten Up! Do We Still Know How To Laugh?


From Courage to Change, March 13:

“I’m apt to think of Step Seven—‘Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings’–as a step I take tearfully and on my knees. I’ve had that experience, but I want to entertain the possibility that Step Seven might be taken with joy—and even humor.

Sometimes the sign that I have actually gotten humble enough to ask my Higher Power to remove a shortcoming is that I can laugh about it. Suddenly a past action or decision of mine seems ludicrous and I can stop taking myself so seriously…

So the next time I want to tear my hair out because I haven’t gotten rid of some nagging shortcoming, I’ll try to lighten up and see how silly my intensity can be…

Desperation and pain can certainly lead me to humility, but in Al-Anon I’m cultivating a new and eager willingness to follow my Higher Power’s guidance. Because I am willing, I’m freer to learn from all of life’s lessons, not just the ones that hurt.”

How did I ever get here? When I began my recovery journey I was in so much pain I couldn’t see through the river of salty tears I was drowning in. I was consumed with sadness, alternately watching Angie slowly self-destruct and determining to save her from herself. We all know that unhappy place, and we pray to be released from our sorrow.

I’m one of the lucky ones; I stuck around long enough to learn how to laugh again. “whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not…”

I’m not angry at God anymore and I accept His will for her. I believe He is a force for good—it wasn’t His plan to visit the misery that we read about on people all over the world. His purpose in our lives is to teach us how to rise above it. With acceptance, faith, gratitude and humor.

I laugh a lot these days, at myself most of all. The problems I carry don’t seem very important in the grand scheme of things. Humility has given me a healthier perspective, and I’m thrilled to be able to see the comedy in life. It’s a great leveler.

“He who laughs, lasts.” Mary Pettibone Poole

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