26 Apr 2015 Comments Off on Remember to Laugh
Laughing is the application of ACIM principles. It’s right there in Chapter 27: “Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects. Together, we can laugh them both away, and understand that time cannot intrude upon eternity. It is a joke to think that time can come to circumvent eternity, which means there is no time.” T-27.VIII.6:2-5
Dr. Bernie Siegel, the author of Love, Medicine and Miracles, has many stories to tell about the power of laughter. There’s a whole school of yoga devoted to laughter. Comedian John Cleese says, “Laughter is a force for democracy.” Cancer thriver, as Kris Carr calls herself, has laughed in the face of terminal disease. Vice president Joe Biden shines light when he shares the tragic death of his wife and child. How do we laugh when we’re least likely to feel like laughing?
Biden considered suicide but came to find, “There will come a day, I promise you, and your parents, as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye.” He was speaking to the families of military veterans, but it goes for the rest of us as well. It applies to anyone who has contemplated suicide or hurt inside in any way, for any reason.
“This is the great wake-up call, this is the great spiritual practice. What am I going to do now? Am I going to fold?,” asked Carr, author of Crazy, Sexy Cancer, who was given a death sentence but instead chose to keep smiling and become a peace revolutionary through a plant-based diet.
There is a saying, “Time heals all wounds.” A Course in Miracles promises to save us time. It teaches that miracles literally collapse time. The miracle of laughter uses time for healing rather than brooding, simmering, panicking, collapsing, or seeking vengeance.
“The Holy Spirit uses time as He thinks best, and He is never wrong. Psychotherapy under His direction is one of the means He uses to save time …” P-1.5:5-6
Laughter is psychotherapy. Laughter is good medicine. And when we just can’t bring ourselves to laugh, a wry comment, some dry humor, a small smile are better than nothing. They are the equivalent of raising our eyes up from the ground and looking out towards the horizon. There is some scientific evidence which shows that laughter, even when we force it, or fake it, stimulates chemical changes in the brain and body which are powerfully healing.
Of course, ACIM students learn that the only illness is mental illness and when we’re willing to change our minds, we find an inner peace that removes the wrinkles from our brow and puts a smile on our lips. Remembering to laugh is choosing to forgive. Lesson 121 is, “Forgiveness is the key to happiness,” and Lesson 122 follows with, “[Forgiveness] sparkles on your eyes as you awake, and gives you joy with which to meet the day.”
At the root of physical and emotional pain is always psychological pain. Whether our situation is dramatic or mundane, we deserve to exercise our option to choose light and laughter. Remembering to laugh is an undoing process that takes us from our personal problems all the way back to the one problem the Course says is the only real problem: believing the tiny, mad idea that we are separate from God. All we have to do to establish inner peace is choose again, choose to recognize the cosmic joke is on us, and forgive, forgive, forgive!
TIP: Paradoxically, sometimes the only way to laugh is to stop laughing. When I was going through a “dark night of the soul,” it was healing for me to stop laughing and smiling, because I blocked people from helping me with my constant good cheer. They just assumed I was okay. So if it seems to you that your smile is a defense, relax into your pain and allow that energy to move through you. This is easier said than done, because becoming vulnerable when we’re frozen with self-protection takes time. And certain emotions feel dangerous. But if you sincerely want to heal, the Holy Spirit will show you how, and will help you find a healer with whom to do release work. You will laugh again. And each time you do, time will melt into timelessness until you remember Who you already are.
Get your laugh on — click here to watch the miraculously funny Trevor Noah.
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