The Gratitude Challenge’s fourth topic is “Laughter”.
When I first thought of what to write, it came to my mind how people tell me that they hear me laughing before they even see me. How they think of me as someone happy, balanced, never angry or sad. How this is a character trait I like to see myself “blessed” with. But as I wrote into my journal about a recent sound healing experience and the deep sadness I experienced, tears flowing all over my face while lying on the grass, I reconsidered. My life coach told me about the hysterical happiness from our mind and the deep and tranquil happiness from our heart. I can see how my laughter is from my mind, being aware that people like to be surrounded by happy, positive, uncomplicated people. Being likeable. In my last post I wrote that I did not care about fitting in, but of course I do. As social beings, we all do – some more, some less.
I remember times in which I listened to “sad” music so frequently and how it made me so melancholic. Such beautiful songs. Such beautiful melancholy. But I forced myself not to listen, because you can’t get things done when you are constantly in this mood. Yet I think there is a reason why the German word Weltschmerz made it into the English-speaking world. It’s not a happy but a very beautiful idea.
I remember how I was told “this will be the last time we see each other” and we both knew it would be, he would pass away. As sadness arises, I push it away. Happy, happy, happy. Smile. I remember how I walked on the market in Mexico, the phone call back to Germany. Because we both knew it would be the last phone call. Pretend happiness. Smile. Laugh. Oh, there is a food stand. Let’s eat. Distract. No one to talk to. You are happy, it’s ok. During a lunch break the call that he had passed away. I walk, walk, walk. To nowhere, just walk. Away. People see me tearing up. Stop it, you are ok. Back to work, you are strong. Oh, you are so strong, you can even keep working now. Nothing can hurt you; you are happy. Smile. Laugh.
I travel 10,000 kilometres and I think I will be happier. A German saying goes “looking for happiness / luck by going somewhere far away” (sein Glück in der Ferne suchen). Isn’t it rather an escape? Isn’t our happiness something that comes from connecting our heart with other people’s heart? Not hysterical happiness from our mind. Instead, deep and calm happiness from the heart. But the heart was cold and dark. Disconnected. Think you are happy, that you are ok.
I am grateful for the people in my life who touch my heart and make me feel. It does not need to be laughter. Feeling with and for people. Sharing happiness, sharing laughter. But also sadness, melancholy. Feeling love and compassion.