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Can You Hear Me Now?

Monday, February 20, 2006

I'm not laughing AT you...I'm laughing WITH you...

First let me give you an updated weather report. Snow and ice have accumulated, only 2 to 2 ½ inches, yet having sequestered myself indoors all weekend (with only a short reprieve to my parents house), I was absolutely ready to return to work this week if for no other reason then to be outside the home. I woke up sick. I’m home today, only til noon…long enough to give the meds a chance to kick in, and the remaining ice to melt away.

I honestly don’t know how you stay-at-home parents do it. I mean, do you really stay at home? Do you get to go places and do things? I know how I am and after 6 hours in one places…I’m SO outta there. I need to…go…do…go…do. I’m from a long line of the “go-doers”. It doesn’t bother me, except when I can’t GO and the DO-ing is all DONE where I am.

The real POINT of this posting is about humor. One of my OLDEST and best friends read my entries and commented to me about my need to liven it up a bit with humor. He remembers me saying: “Life is too short to be taken so seriously.” I do believe this statement, depending, again, on the motivation of the heart.

I remember always having a sense of humor and desiring that quality in the people around me. If I didn’t FIND humor in people, I would CREATE humor THROUGH people. Maybe this friend never realized, my humor was largely a self-defense to the pain and hurt I was enduring. I know that part of the reason I don’t feel compelled to be ‘funny’ anymore, is that God has helped me find a peace about WHO I am in Him. I can joke and tease and play with the best of them, but I don’t NEED that to feel acceptance.

We’ve all met someone who uses humor in some cutting way and then quickly says: “I’m just kidding.” Well the truth of the matter is…usually we aren’t just kidding. In my own experience, being an observer as I previously shared, I found the weaknesses in others. I found vulnerabilities; through that, I found potential ‘jokes’. The minute I felt “attacked” I would joke. I would make some comment or crack some one-liner and make those around me laugh. I’m pretty sure most of the “victims” never even realized the seriousness of my ‘attacks’. I was using humor to alleviate or divert the pain lying dormant in my heart.

This pain resulted in such HUGE walls around me, that it literally took my husband years to catapult over them and get close enough to me to experience my true personae. It sounds much more dramatic then it was. I learned early on that my husband wasn’t going to hurt me intentionally. He proved his love over and over again. With other people, this isn’t the case. I remember my parents always saying: “You earn trust, it’s not free.”

This same adage applied to my interactions with others. If I feel constantly beat down by people; both peers and mentors or older adults, I begin to build a wall around myself in some sort of defense. The wall appears transparent because I begin to joke and laugh about every little thing. I honestly believe that most comediennes, probably should have been therapists or in therapy. I hear in their humor, the same cutting or self-debasing or audience-debasing that I use in my defense system.

Today I can laugh and joke and even play, probably more readily then most, but I find this space sacred. For right now: this is my space to pour out my heart. This is my space to be authentic. This is my space to cry. This is my space to heal.

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