“Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh, o’er the fields we go…Laughing all the way! HaHa HA!!!”
Jingle Bells is one of my favorite Christmas songs, full of mirth and cheer. I love the energy of Joy and celebration that the holidays inspire. And this song has one of my favorite lines, reminding me to laugh all along the way! There’s another mirthful song I love for its great lyrics and happy energy. It’s actually a nursery rhyme, but a very profound one, really: “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream!”
Aaah, if only we could remember to Laugh all the way through life, as we dash over the landscape of our collective dream! Isn’t it great that we have timeless nursery rhymes and holiday songs with profound little messages in them, reminding us of what’s really important in life?!
This morning a variety of Christmas songs danced through my mind as I took a walk in the sunny cool morning. I was delighted to be aware of the various hidden gems in these songs. My favorite, of course, was the Jingle Bells song, because finding my amusement has been even more important to me lately than ever before. Amusement is our ability to be mirthfully entertained by anything. Notice I stress the word anything, because the amusement I speak of, as an ability we have, is not conditional. Our ability to be amused is not limited by what it is that we appear to be amused by. This is because amusement comes from the inside. When we are amused, we are at cause, not effect. It is not what we are experiencing that makes us amused, but who we are that inspires great amusement no matter what the circumstances.
The importance of amusement is even greater when the circumstances seem to call for anything but laughter and enjoyment. For example, lately I’ve been experiencing a good deal of physical discomfort (hmmm 🙂 , I’ll announce the reason for this later, in case you don’t already know 😉 Throughout this ongoing experience of uncomfortableness, I’ve reminded myself, as often as possible, to be amused. When I can become aware of my experience and witness it, rather than identifying with it and losing myself in it, I can choose to be amused, to witness myself in the great divine comedy and give my experience space to complete. In that awareness, and amusement, there is great relief, because when we are truly amused, we are identifying with Who we really are, rather than what we are experiencing. And, it is only our identification with our experience that causes any suffering.
Give it a try! Practice this with something that appears to cause you suffering, “unavoidable” suffering. Decide to be aware. Witness yourself having whatever experience you are having: simply notice, take curious interest in what you are experiencing, as if you are in a movie and you are watching yourself in this movie. “Hmmm, isn’t that interesting,” you say to yourself, “I’m feeling tremendous fear and panic right now…How curious…” This may seem silly, but really, just notice, become aware, of what you are experiencing. This awareness is who/what you are, not the experience, or the body experiencing it. Then, with that awareness, let it be. Let whatever you are experiencing be. Don’t fight it, try to change it or fix, solve it or figure it out. Don’t resist it in any way (ah…this may be tricky 🙂 Just say to yourself “I can have this. I can let this be, because I know that it’s not really me, and that it will pass if I give it space to.” Allowing and accepting is not saying, “Oh yeah, I want more of this, bring on the pain.” It’s really saying, “I see you pain, I know you’re just the product of my resistance, so I’m going to give you space to be, and watch you disappear.”
Go ahead, try it. It’s simple, not always easy, but simple. We tend to immediately resist pain, naturally, because it’s not something we’d like to experience. But pain is actually the product of resistance deep withing our Being. So resisting it only makes it worse. Allowing it actually undoes it, releases it.
How can we possibly not resist the experience of pain? By having amusement, of course! 🙂 Remember amusement. It’s not dependent on what you are experiencing. Amusement is a great and important ability that will free you from experiences that seem to bind you. When you are amused, you have your power: you have not given your power over to your experience. You are amused because you recognize that you made the whole thing up in the first place! There is nothing outside of you effecting you. You are it. You are the cause, your experience is the effect. So, remember to laugh! Be gentle with yourself. You are powerful!
“Into eternity where all is One there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not (ie forgot!) to laugh.” (A Course in Miracles)