Who doesn’t like to laugh? Laughter creates a natural release of tension, stress, and toxins. When we laugh, our body and spirit merge together in a blissful state of happiness.

I love to laugh. Much to my roomie’s chagrin, I laugh out loud with a howling cackle that rivals that of a coven of witches on All Hallows Eve. My laugh is an inherited trait. Gram Bernie (Bernice) was the original cackler who often laughed so deeply that she squinted her eyes and peed her pants at the same time.

The cackle was passed down to my mother whose most recent favored pastime is laughing at me. Whether it is my jokes, my shenanigans, my demise, Mom has tuned into her sense of humor and embraced the sarcastic snark value of laughter.

I talk to my mother several times a week, which provides us both with ample opportunities to laugh out loud (LOL) and issue the “Hold on, I’m gonna pee my pants” declaration. ¬†We tend to crack each other up. The blood-curdling screams can be quite deafening.

Not to be outdone, I have taken my generation’s cackling skill to new levels. Events that take me by surprise, satirical words and phrases that tickle my funny bone, and out-of-the-blue folly that you just cannot make up, frankly, just make me giggle. My laugh tends to come with a high-pitched squeal paired with a contiguous break in rhythm so that I can gather more oxygen to continue the screeching. I have laughed so hard that sound does not escape (those around me are grateful for that version) but also motivates my bladder to initiate a worker’s compensation lawsuit.

Laughter lightens my mood and lifts my spirits. I can go from stoic to sitcom in zero flat. My face lights up from eyebrows to smile. The tension drains from my body with a sense of warmth washing over me. Even my favorite T.V. dramas (channeling Succession) can inspire me to laugh. I cannot get enough of the dramatic family dynamics of the Roy clan. Talk about daddy issues!

Sometimes, it is difficult to smile let alone find something to laugh about. Life can throw us curve-balls that create such sadness, sorrow, and depression. In our darkest hours, laughter appears to be a distant memory, a long-lost friend who doesn’t call or text.

When times get tough and you don’t feel like laughing, take heart. The good times will eventually come back around. It may start with a grin and slowly creep into a full-face smile. At some point, your mind, heart, and soul will realign as your spirit whispers, “Let it go,” and you will. Laughter can heal what ails us. Let it in and let the healing begin.

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