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Laugh or Cry Blog

Laugh or Cry?

September 27, 2018

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. -Victor Hugo

“I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!” How many of us can relate to this statement?

I’m betting most of us have found ourselves in these situations more than once. In fact, this experience is so common our language turned this phrase into an idiom (a commonly used expression that is defined by culture). Merriam-Webster defines this particular idiom as:

          to be both annoyed or disappointed and amused or relieved at the same time

Most recently I experienced this as I worked with a young woman who challenged my thinking.

A week after my devastating experience of walking after foot surgery (you can read about it here), I started working with a physical therapist. He explained the lengthy process of beginning to walk again. As it turns out, the process of applying weight to an injured foot is a gradual one. (Who knew?)

The therapist explained the transition process:

  • walking with the support of the parallel bars in his gym
  • walking with a walker
  • walking with a cane
  • and finally walking without support

As he outlined our sessions and the exercises I would do, I assured him I have high pain tolerance (I do). To which he replied, “Good!” And he actually smiled!

I graduated to the walker during my first session. According to my therapist, walking is the only way to get better at walking. So my husband immediately purchased a walker and I began practicing every day. To minimize the pain in my injured foot, I found myself making a quick hop with my good foot, rather than a full step. Still, I was walking more and more each day. Eventually, my hop became more of a shuffle.

At my next therapy session, my therapist’s young assistant watched me as I walked. “I think that shuffle will go away once you start walking heel-to-toe,” she observed.

Stopping in my tracks, I turned around and repeated, “Heel-to-toe?”

With eyes wide open she countered, “Did someone here tell you to walk toe-to-heel? Because we only walk toe-to-heel when we are walking backwards.”

Numb, I shook my head and stammered, “No, no one told me anything. I think I just forgot how to walk.” And then inexplicably I began to laugh. Soon the young woman and my husband joined me in my laughter.

The irony of the situation hit me full force. Because I focused so intently on where to place my feet with the walker, I inadvertently began walking toe-to-heel. I expended all my energy trying to go forward with movements created for backward motion.

Laughter is good for the soul. It is also the best medicine.

Consider some of the benefits of laughter:

  • Laughter enhances the release of endorphins (the feel-good hormones)
  • Laughter reduces stress hormones and boosts the immune system
  • Laughter lowers blood pressure
  • Laughter helps pain management
  • Laughter relaxes muscles

According to a Norwegian study, laughter can even extend our life expectancy.

So the clear conclusion of the matter:

          Laugh more; live longer.

Two weeks ago I had wept over the perceived impossibility of walking. Now I was laughing at the craziness of it all. Laughing definitely feels better.

So when faced with a decision to laugh or cry, I prefer laughter. But in all honesty, in this life, we will do plenty of both. But here is a beautiful promise from Jesus:

“Blessed are you who weep now

     for you will laugh” Luke 6:21 (NIV)

How comforting to know times of weeping will pass. Wherever you are in your journey, my thoughts and prayers are with you. If today you are experiencing tears, take heart. Times of laughter are coming. If you are able to laugh now, take advantage of all of its benefits.

If you catch a glimpse of me as I walk down the road, I pray you will see me laughing. In fact, I pray we all learn to laugh more.

 

Laugh or Cry?

September 27, 2018

Laugh or Cry Blog

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. -Victor Hugo

“I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!” How many of us can relate to this statement?

I’m betting most of us have found ourselves in these situations more than once. In fact, this experience is so common our language turned this phrase into an idiom (a commonly used expression that is defined by culture). Merriam-Webster defines this particular idiom as:

          to be both annoyed or disappointed and amused or relieved at the same time

Most recently I experienced this as I worked with a young woman who challenged my thinking.

A week after my devastating experience of walking after foot surgery (you can read about it here), I started working with a physical therapist. He explained the lengthy process of beginning to walk again. As it turns out, the process of applying weight to an injured foot is a gradual one. (Who knew?)

The therapist explained the transition process:

  • walking with the support of the parallel bars in his gym
  • walking with a walker
  • walking with a cane
  • and finally walking without support

As he outlined our sessions and the exercises I would do, I assured him I have high pain tolerance (I do). To which he replied, “Good!” And he actually smiled!

I graduated to the walker during my first session. According to my therapist, walking is the only way to get better at walking. So my husband immediately purchased a walker and I began practicing every day. To minimize the pain in my injured foot, I found myself making a quick hop with my good foot, rather than a full step. Still, I was walking more and more each day. Eventually, my hop became more of a shuffle.

At my next therapy session, my therapist’s young assistant watched me as I walked. “I think that shuffle will go away once you start walking heel-to-toe,” she observed.

Stopping in my tracks, I turned around and repeated, “Heel-to-toe?”

With eyes wide open she countered, “Did someone here tell you to walk toe-to-heel? Because we only walk toe-to-heel when we are walking backwards.”

Numb, I shook my head and stammered, “No, no one told me anything. I think I just forgot how to walk.” And then inexplicably I began to laugh. Soon the young woman and my husband joined me in my laughter.

The irony of the situation hit me full force. Because I focused so intently on where to place my feet with the walker, I inadvertently began walking toe-to-heel. I expended all my energy trying to go forward with movements created for backward motion.

Laughter is good for the soul. It is also the best medicine.

Consider some of the benefits of laughter:

  • Laughter enhances the release of endorphins (the feel-good hormones)
  • Laughter reduces stress hormones and boosts the immune system
  • Laughter lowers blood pressure
  • Laughter helps pain management
  • Laughter relaxes muscles

According to a Norwegian study, laughter can even extend our life expectancy.

So the clear conclusion of the matter:

          Laugh more; live longer.

Two weeks ago I had wept over the perceived impossibility of walking. Now I was laughing at the craziness of it all. Laughing definitely feels better.

So when faced with a decision to laugh or cry, I prefer laughter. But in all honesty, in this life, we will do plenty of both. But here is a beautiful promise from Jesus:

“Blessed are you who weep now

     for you will laugh” Luke 6:21 (NIV)

How comforting to know times of weeping will pass. Wherever you are in your journey, my thoughts and prayers are with you. If today you are experiencing tears, take heart. Times of laughter are coming. If you are able to laugh now, take advantage of all of its benefits.

If you catch a glimpse of me as I walk down the road, I pray you will see me laughing. In fact, I pray we all learn to laugh more.

 

2 Comments

  1. Elvira on September 27, 2018 at 7:19 PM

    🙂 Glad to see you are getting better. It’s a lengthy process but well worth it. 🙂 Soon you will dancing around.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on September 28, 2018 at 7:43 AM

      Absolutely! Thank you Elvira!

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