Learning to Laugh at Yourself

So, there we were; my family was walking with a gentle stroll through Downtown Disney in Orlando. We were headed down to check out one of the newer dinner attractions, T-Rex, before heading back to our favorite spot for a quick quality meal at Earl of Sandwich, when a wet flutter flapped down onto my head. Unsure of the commotion happening above me, I quickly dropped and began swinging my hands up at the winged intruder of my personal space. The seagull left as quickly as it came, rising above the crowd and looking for another place to get a snack or to rest. A gentleman added that something similar happened to him just the day before. I smiled at the event, and we continued on our trek. The family was quite entertained as we made the rest of our way below a sky filled with additional dive bombers.

Later on, my son was standing in Team Disney with a min-basketball. He bounced it down off the floor, and it returned back with much more gusto than he expected. In volleyball terms, he got a facial. Again, there were some smiles from passers-by. DJ set the ball down and stepped into an aisle to escape the situation the best he could. We shared a few words, laughed, and were once again on our merry way.

Laughing at ourselves is a difficult thing to do. I’ve grown up regularly putting myself down, and had the regular complex that all of the world was looking at each step I made. It led me to a high sense of living as a perfectionist and times of unnecessary shame or embarrassment. It can further stunt personal growth and keep an individual from achieving personal goals.

How is this achieved? Well, I am no psychologist, but I’d list a few items that have made an impact on me:

  1. Recognize the problem. If you experience regular negative feelings about yourself (lack of self-esteem) or are easily embarrassed, then be willing to face it, not to get more upset about the fact that you have failed to address the issue.
  2. Understand your place as a creation of God. God doesn’t make junk. He loves His entire creation (John 3:16), so know that you are important in God’s eyes – just as important as every other human on earth!
  3. Admit failure when it happens. Don’t blame it on others, but learn to accept it. Remember, Pope also said, “To err is human…”

I could elaborate on these further, and I may sometime in the future if I get the time, but this should be enough to get you started. Feel free to leave your comments or to provide further insight.

Believe it or not, on the last day of our trip in Orlando, the keys to our van got locked inside when I took a hang gliding lesson. Frustrating, yes, but living these principles allowed my family to make it through the difficulty with patience and retained (rather than strained) relationships. Now, we can look back and laugh at the memory.


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