Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
I walked out the bakery door holding my crescent and coffee. I looked down. On the sidewalk lay a large dog. He was on his back, motionless. A crowd of people was gathering around and staring.
“Oh my God,” I said. A man walked up to me. “What’s the matter?” he asked. “Haven’t you ever seen a dead dog before?”
I was horrified. Then I saw the glimmer of a smile on the man’s face. I looked more closely. This is Los Angeles. Even dogs want to be actors. He had told the dog to play dead instead of sit while he was in the bakery. I chuckled and then walked to my car.
I first learned about the value of laughter the year after I got out of treatment. I began working for a law firm in a small town. I was so frightened – of life, of myself, of whether I could stay sober. I was all bound up inside of myself. I worked alongside a woman in her later twenties, a paralegal in the firm. Often our tasks consisted of rather repetitive, unexciting chores. This was in the old days, before computers. Wills had to be typed perfectly; we couldn’t use correction fluid or erasers. It wasn’t uncommon to get to the last line of the page and make a mistake.
What I remember most about working with this woman was her ability to laugh at herself, at her tasks, at the sometimes gruesome and boring nature of life. To this day, I don’t think she knows how much she affected me and how much she taught me. She taught me to laugh.
Laughter takes the pressure off and lightens the load. We can actually feel our body and our chemistry change when the corners of the mouth turn upward toward the heavens in a smile.
You are reading from the book:
52 Weeks of Conscious Contact © 2003 by Melody Beattie