Purpose In Laughter II By Samantha Camerino (she/her), LCSW
There is nothing quite like a good laugh. I’m talking about the type of laughter that makes your belly hurt and eyes tear up, the kind that nearly knocks you off your chair. Sometimes it can feel as though this type of laughter is rare. Life can get so serious and heavy at times, we forget to stop and breathe, let alone laugh. But without laughter, there’s no reprieve from our burdens and there’s a loss of connection to our shared purpose.
Everyone around the world laughs at something, and anyone across the globe can connect with others through laughter. If you sit and think about that, it seems pretty powerful. Laughing relaxes us and helps us stay balanced; it connects us and makes us familiar. When we laugh, we might feel a moment of clarity or a brief respite. And when we make others laugh, we might experience a sense of purpose and meaning.
Making meaningful connections with others is an objective we all share. While things in this world may feel chaotic and unpredictable, humans continue to look for significant and authentic moments of connection.
This can happen in most places; it can involve a warm smile for your grocery clerk or taking a moment to chat with a neighbor. It can also mean cracking jokes and making light of life with friends. These are all small moments of human purpose. When we take a time-out to enjoy one another, we can reconnect to what we find meaningful.
Although I love to laugh, I’m not so great at feeling embarrassed. That’s a tough one for me. Most times I’m able to enjoy the humor and feel that connection, but sometimes my thoughts turn and try to convince me that I’m somehow ‘not enough’. That’s not easy to admit, but it’s true. I mention this to point out the following: sometimes we can allow our negative thoughts to interfere with our ability to experience our purpose. In a moment of embarrassment, I usually just did something silly like we all do; I’ve got food stuck in my teeth (I cringe at the thought!) or I missed my mouth trying to drink a glass of water (I’m lucky when it’s only water!). These are funny, laughable moments. We all share an understanding of what it feels to ‘push’ the door instead of ‘pull’, and when we give ourselves the opportunity to laugh about it with others, we share our purpose and experience our shared humanity.
Because it unites us (and makes us feel better), we find purpose in laughter. So, I encourage you to take some time today, tomorrow and every day to find ways to laugh; seek it out when and wherever possible. Laugh at yourself, laugh with others; make jokes and find humor. Share joy with others however large or small. Do it because it makes you feel better – be selfish about it! It’s ok, the other person benefits too. Try not to lose track of the beauty in moments, the beauty in laughter, the purpose of meaning and connection. Fill your eyes with tears from laughter and give yourself the opportunity to feel connected with others, even if it’s just for a brief moment in time.
Samantha Camerino (she/her) is the owner of Nomad Therapy Services. She uses a “Person in Environment” approach, addressing not just the individual, but also exploring the environmental, societal and historical components that may be impacting self-growth. She has nearly a decade of experience working with persons struggling with an array of challenges such as depression, anxiety, anger, low self-esteem, trauma, et. al. Currently, Samantha conducts sessions in the office or online, and she also encourages ‘walk & talks’ and meeting in outdoor settings. If you are interested in learning more about the Nomad approach, visit her website at www.nomadtherapyservices.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.