Laugh and Be Blessed
"Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand" - Mark Twain
A blessing can mean more than one thing and I feel a lot of times people are confused when they hear me say
“Laugh and Be Blessed”. One meaning
(and the meaning I feel people think of typically when they hear it)
is the religious meaning having “God's favor and protection”.
While this sounds like a great thing to have and I hope that I find favor in the eyes of the creator, I use the term “blessing” with another definition; “A Beneficial thing for which one is grateful; Something that brings well-being”
“Something that brings well-being”
Man do I love to hear the sound of that. That is the blessing I think of when I use the term “Laugh and Be Blessed”.
Again, I am not saying that having Gods favor is a bad thing, I mean, WHY WOULD I SAY THAT! But I am in a place right now in my life where I am trying to get to know the creator of all things on a personal level, so it is hard for me to see him having favor on me when we do not even know each other. I listened to what other people said for years about who God was and how to talk to him. I got so lost in their view of God that I feel I lost sight of who he truly was.
I feel blessed in the little things of life. When I go out to feed my chickens and I find peace just watching them eat and walk around, I do not think it is because God stepped down and took over this situation.
The term “God's favor” or “by the grace of God” rubs me wrong for one simple reason, if something bad happens to someone else, but I am spared does it mean that God loves me more? That is how I take that phrase and it is something I am not comfortable with. Why me? Why would God choose me to have his favor but pass over someone else? As someone who has felt “passed over” many times I cannot stomach causing someone to feel that guilt or loneliness.
So, the blessing comes from the feeling we have in the moment, not from above, but inside. Something inside of us changes and releases that beneficial thing…that peace.
How can laughter bring us this blessing? What does laughter do to us that causes us this feeling?
Laughter is like a bonding agent that works to bring two or more things together to create unity. There is a reason why comedy clubs across the world have tables pushed so close together you can bump the stranger next to you if you are not careful, the laughter is contagious. When you sit in a darkened room and someone begins to laugh, you naturally feel compelled to join in the laughter. It is a unity that not many things can bring. Laughter and pain are the two things that can bring people close and I refuse to inflict pain, laughter it is.
Laughter is so much stronger than pain, it can fight pain! It has been proven that laughter (for reasons still unknown to man) releases endorphins that raise the pain threshold.
YOUR LAUGHTER CAN FIGHT OFF PAIN
I really am the kind of guy that laughs at a funeral, not because I am insensitive, but because I am incredibly sensitive. I hate to see people in pain and I hate to be in pain, so, if laughter can help us forget about that pain for even a few moments, I am all for it!
When I was a pre-teen my maternal grandfather died. He was a hero to my cousins and me and when he went we felt the pain. It was the first close death in my life and I didn’t understand how to process the pain. I looked around and could see the same pain on my families faces all around the funeral home. There was a small room in the back that had coffee and finger foods for the grieving family. I was in this room with my cousin who was a year younger than me. The pain and confusion were evident on his face so, I wanted to make him laugh. I handed him a paper cup full of fresh coffee and placed a small red stirrer in the cup. He looked down at the plastic sticking out of his cup not knowing what it was. “That is a coffee straw” I told him, “it will cool the coffee down when you drink threw it. Just suck the coffee really fast to cool the coffee and you can drink it right down.” Of course, being my little cousin, he believed me and burned his tongue as the coffee came through. We both started laughing instantly and the entire room joined in. It was a small blessing (even at his expense) in a time of sorrow. The laughter helped us come closer to closure.
Obviously in this story I inflicted pain and laughter but let’s not focus on that, we were cousins and he got me back many times.
So when I leave you with “Laugh and Be Blessed”, I mean just that, lets laugh together and share the blessing that is now.
Jake Ruble is a comedian and freelance writer who offers ghostwriting, copywriting and blogging services. He has been published in multiple formats and is currently available for hire. For information on how to hire Jake please contact him at JakeRuble.com
I have been trying to take time out each day to grow.
Not really spiritually or mentally but grow...just as a whole. I feel like I lost myself somewhere in the past.
Perhaps it was when I was a child and got lost trying to be older.
Maybe it was in my teenage years when I got lost in the drugs or
when I got clean and lost myself in the alcohol instead.
Maybe it was when I met my wife Chia, got sober and lost myself in love.
It could have been when I started going to church and lost myself in ministry and religion.
The point is I would always let something I was focused on determine my identity without thinking who I really was. It wasn't until my kids started getting older and developing their own personalities that I really started reflecting on this issue, and this was an issue.
If I don't know who I am, how can I raise my children to be independent thinkers who are true to themselves?
So I started searching. At first I didn't pick up any books or start listening to podcasts that would help me be more true to myself. The first thing I did was look in the mirror. I took a long look in the mirror and asked myself a question I never really had before...
Do I even like, let alone love who I am? Do I like me?
I was surprised at how quickly I knew the answer to the question. Not only did I not love me, I didn't like me. Not only did I not like me but I couldn't like me because the man I was looking at was a stranger. I took so much time letting other things mold me that I did recognize who I was. I knew a change had to be made so I started with what I could see, my face.
I was clean shaven with short well kept hair. Did I want to be clean shaven? NO! I was only looking the part of a "clean cut minister" because the church I was a current preacher at wanted me to follow certain standards. But If I was going to really learn who I was I had to be true to how I felt. So I took a huge leap in what I feel like was the correct direction for me...I left the ministry. I didn't leave my "faith" at that moment but I knew I had to step down as a minister. I stepped down and lost the razor. I let the hair grow and hung up the suit and tie. I pulled on a Grateful Dead t-shirt and never looked back. I didn't regret what I was doing because it felt right. With every step I took away from who I was I felt I was one step closer to who I WAS.
I can now shake hands with the man I am.
I know the man I see in the mirror now. I am not saying that everyone reading this needs to leave their church because that would be you trying to find your identity getting lost in mine. For some people maybe joining a church helps them find themselves, some people need to be in the ministry but it was not who I was...who I am. It took me a lot of courage to accept that.
I know I am not finished with who I am but that is exciting to me. I am finally on the road to enlightenment. I started on the outside with the man I could see and now I am working on the man on the inside, the man I can hear now.
The one who was silent for so many years.
The one who kept getting lost in other people's lifestyles.
The one who kept getting lost in things that occupied his time.
The man who never had a voice. That's the man I am shaking hands with.
It's a journey and the only way to get to the end of this road is to rebuild the car, fuel it up and take the ride.
To close this out I would like to borrow from Eckhart Tolle's Book "A New Earth"
"Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature."