Yesterday I observed myself laughing often. Those of you who know me might be asking “what’s new?” I laugh a lot. It’s something people tend to notice about me pretty quickly, because not only do I laugh often, I tend to laugh pretty loudly as well. The volume is something I can’t always control. And the laughter I rarely control in the sense of hold back or limit. Laughter is always an appropriate response to life.
Another thing I observed as I was laughing a lot yesterday is that, at times, I feel as though I need to explain myself! Like the inner critic voice says: what are you laughing at?, what’s so funny? why are you laughing so much? And, is laughter really always appropriate…what if someone is hurt, what about all the tragedies if genocide, war, starvation and extinction happening on the planet? You <em>can’t</em> laugh at that!
We are so used to laughing for a reason: at a joke, at someone or something. Most of us allow ourselves to laugh only when our intellect or analyzer decides something is funny or humorous. And, unless we are laughing at another’s “expense”–out of judgment, condemnation or competition–there’s really no harm in intellectual humor. However, the laughter I speak of when I say “laughter is always an appropriate response to life” is the laughter of the Heart in recognition of Truth and acceptance of Grace.
Aaahh…Grace : ) That ever-present, always giving, energy of divine love, peace, presence and awareness. Grace is experienced in so many ways, but always as a gift. It may appear as divine intervention, an epiphany or moment of revelation, an opening in our awareness, a feeling of contentment and gratitude, and a sense of absolute and certain peace. When we are in acceptance of the all-and-ever-givingness of Grace that <em>is</em> Life, what more natural response is there than Laughter?!
Laughter is the song of grace, singing its celebration of joy, peace and acceptance:love. This kind of laughter doesn’t always happen out loud. Sometimes it is the inner smile of our awareness and acceptance of what is. Sometimes it is a stillness inside in response to outer unrest. And sometimes it bubbles forth like a song of enthusiasm, gratitude and celebration of Being. We may laugh inside, in celebration of our infinite immortal Spirit, while we respond compassionately to the worlds pain through whatever form of action we are inspired to take. Throughout that compassionate action and service, however, if we remember ourSelf, we laugh inside, allowing Grace to pour through us to enable and strengthen our actions with Love and Peace.
When we laugh, we are in the present moment, our mind is not engaged in past guilt or future fear. We simply Are. In laughter, the doorway that allows Grace’s ever givingness to be received is wide open. Resistance releases when we laugh. We can not laugh and hold on to fear, anger, resentment, resistance or any other thoughts that hold back Grace. Laughter says Yes! to Grace.
My favorite poet, Hafiz, says it so well:
“I have a thousand brilliant lies
for the question:
How are you?
I have a thousand brilliant lies
for the question:
What is God?
If you think that the Truth can be known
If you think that the Sun and the Ocean
Can pass through that tiny opening
called the mouth
O someone should start laughing
Someone should start wildly laughing–
May the song of Grace give a smile to your Being and Wholeness to your Mind.