Let’s not Take Ourselves too Seriously

December 22, 2008

Frequently we get caught in the drama of our daily lives and forget to be objective.  We neglect the healthy habit of taking a step back and laughing at ourselves for being so serious and earnest.  Today we explore this curious habit.


Welcome back

I hope everyone had a safe and happy weekend.  Here in the northeast US winter is really showing its cards early.  We had snow and ice several times in the last few days.  The forecast lows are for ten degrees Fahrenheit for the next two nights.  If we don’t have a white Christmas it won’t be because we didn’t try.


If we can’t laugh at ourselves

I used to be a very serious person.  I was convinced that life was serious business.  I believed that I had to conduct myself accordingly.  In reality, I was actually much more grim and gloomy than I was serious.  I was also very unhappy.


Eventually I learned to lighten up.  It took a few years, but once I learned how to admit my failures to myself, I realized how absurd I had been.  I started to learn how to look back at my previous behavior and laugh at how silly I had been.  I realized the grim and gloomy attitude was a very silly way to act.


As I became accustomed to looking back and laughing at myself I gradually realized the importance and power of that behavior.  It became very clear that when we cannot laugh at ourselves we are taking ourselves – and life – far too seriously.  This improved my mental health tremendously.


Don’t take the holidays too seriously

We all get caught up in the activities related to the holidays this time of year.  We all get busy doing a lot of things that we don’t do at other times of the year.  We also get very concerned that everything will be “perfect” so that everyone around us will have a “perfect” holiday.


Our culture is replete with movies and TV shows about holiday plans that go awry.  Most of these are funny because the characters get caught up in their false self and loose their sense of perspective.


We all have experiences of family members who loose their sense of perspective during the holidays.  Maybe it is the uncle who cannot be pried away from the football games on TV.  Maybe it is the great aunt who makes the same dull and boring pastry every year.  Or maybe it is the group of relatives that cannot help but argue every time they gather for the holidays.


We have a choice of how to handle these “problems”.  We can get upset that things are not going smoothly.  We can also stand back and laugh at the absurd behavior.  We do not have to laugh in the faces of our relatives, but we can internally recognize how ridiculous everyone is behaving.  We can have an internal chuckle that keeps us sane and in the moment.


For your sanity, during the next two weeks, I implore you to stop yourself every hour or so.  Take a look around you.  Observe the situation around you.  Observe your thoughts.  Take a step back and laugh at yourself and those around you.  I assure you that if you do not find something to laugh at then you are taking the holidays far too seriously.


That is all for today.  Enjoy the holidays!


Until tomorrow –


Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.




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