In a society where a person has to appear physically and mentally perfect all the time, as human beings, dealing with our shortcomings can be daunting, let alone laugh at them. To laugh at yourself you must love yourself first: not under-love or over-love yourself; this is easier said than done.
If your self-esteem is low, you would probably engage in self-deprecating and/or self destructive humour. On the other side of the coin, if you are described as narcissistic, you would consider yourself too perfect to be able to laugh at yourself. How to find the right balance? I do not intend to give lessons on how to love yourself, but I found some pertinent resources that can help in this path. About loving yourself, Louise Hay, an author and motivational speaker, writes ” I mean having a deep appreciation for who we are. ” We accept all the different parts of ourselves—our little peculiarities, the embarrassments, the things we may not do so well, and all the wonderful qualities, too.” On the Huffington Post, Margaret Paul, a relationship expert, lists 9 Ways to love yourself. Wikihow published a detailed article on How to love yourself.
Once you are in the balanced space of loving yourself for who you are including your imperfections, then laughing at yourself will come more naturally. LOU (Laughter Online University) clearly points out that laughing at yourself is a sign of wisdom: ““Choosing to remain positive and be comfortable with your imperfections and the challenges in your life does not mean you have to be complacent about them. You should not. Laughing about them is a sign of maturity. Accepting and embracing our frailty and shortcomings as human beings opens the door to compassion.” As Lois Mcelravy, a Laughter Coach, underlines: ” Remember, it’s not just what you do that defines who you are. More over, it’s how you handle what you do, that defines who you really are.
One day a couple of year ago, while looking myself in the mirror, I noticed my first white hair. I felt so frustrated by being suddenly reminded about the aging process when media constantly bombards us with messages/pictures about looking young forever. As if it was a total disaster, I was totally in the “why is this happening to me?” state of mind. After the initial shock of my discovery, I told myself that I cannot be defeated by one tiny white hair. Instead of focussing on the negative side of my white enemy, I chose to turn it into a friend by calling it my wisdom hair. Since that time I kept telling my audience that the visible part of my wisdom keeps growing year after year.
Photo Credit Matia M on Flickr