We will laugh more is quite possibly my favorite Al-Anon gift mostly because it’s the gift that is as both easily recognizable as it is subtle. Laughter has a way of creeping into your every day until one day you realize the unmistakable sound of true laughter.
The first time I remember hearing it come out of my own mouth was a couple of years ago. My youngest child had just mouthed off at his dad-a perfectly timed quip out of the mouth of a babe. Uncontrollable laughter bubbled out of me as I lay on the floor of my boys’ bedroom. Tears of laughter streamed down my face, and I felt an inkling of healing. It was my first glimpse that putting in the work on overcoming the impact of trauma in my life was working.
We will laugh more.
Recently I listened to the “We Can Do Hard Things” podcast episode with Kate Bowler, the author of No Cure for Being Human (and Other Truths I Need to Hear) and I heard the whispers of that promise again as I listened to the women laugh. I was struck by their laughter because they were talking about hard things, yet seamlessly they went from talking about hard things like death and dying to laughing hysterically.
I laughed out loud several times and I was struck again by the healing-I was laughing right along with them because I have seen and experienced things that were more difficult and devastating than I ever imagined and yet lately, on an almost daily basis -in the midst of sea duty, a full time job, parenting tweens, a pandemic, and the daily pressures that come from being 100% human-I have laughed-deep, full belly laughs.
We will laugh more.
I had dinner with a friend a few weeks ago. It’s been several years since we’ve seen each other. In the years we’ve been apart we’ve both lived through some of the tougher aspects of life. Though the diners next to us probably heard more about mental health than they bargained for, they also heard laughter. My friend and I shared with each other some of the more egregious details of our stories, yet it was in the sharing of the insanity and absurdity of it all that we laughed. We shared the collective laugh of those who have been in dark and have also managed to hope in the light.
We will laugh more is more than a one liner I learned in Al-Anon-it’s one of the truest things about putting in the work to heal-I will laugh more and so will you-and perhaps one day we’ll all laugh together about the things that once seemed impossible to even talk about.