So as part of this whole balance between being serious and being funny, taking life as something to take in earnest or something to see as a joke: well, a big part of it seems like it’s the way we view ourselves.
So this idea of not taking yourself too seriously, taking yourself lightly, seems to be a helpful way to maybe take everything more lightly.
But then at the same time, if we take it too far, to simply dismissing ourselves as just pure silliness, that might be going too far.
So where is the right balance for how to see ourselves? So of course, one way to get more of that lightness is simply to zoom out.
If we zoom out and look at the big picture of the world and long time periods, well, the individual suddenly is a little bit less important, and all that concern that we put into every little detail of ourselves is also somehow less significant.
Now, we all have silly things about ourselves.
I can certainly speak for myself.
There’s many things that are silly about me.
And it seems like everybody has this.
There’s just everybody has some things that are kind of funny, and you know, everybody has their own mix of these things.
And maybe the challenge is, when other people are laughing at us, other people find something silly, maybe we don’t agree with what they consider to be the silly thing about us.
Maybe we take that aspect very seriously.
Whereas maybe there’s another aspect of ourselves that other people think is very serious and important, and we think is kind of silly and a joke.
So it seems like, if we’re concerned about other people taking us seriously, and we want to be taken seriously and not as a joke, it’s difficult to laugh at ourselves, because we want to project this serious image.
“I am somebody to take seriously.
You don’t laugh at me, because, you know, you don’t dismiss me.
I’m a significant force to be dealt with.
You know, I matter.
I’m important.” We’re trying to defend ourselves against this feeling that other people are laughing at our expense.
When really, there probably are still many things that are funny about us, it’s just that we don’t want to just be a joke.
Nobody wants to be a pure joke.
I mean, even a real clown of a character, who loves to just play for laughs whenever possible: even the silliest clown still wants some kind of respect and appreciation, doesn’t want to be a pure joke.
So we have this defence of being serious to protect ourselves.
Maybe if we can just find our own jokes- maybe it’s about finding what we find funny about ourselves.
Forget about what other people might make fun of.
But what do we consider to be important? What do we consider to be less important, and maybe just completely silly? Decide that for ourselves.
What are the things that are so important that it’s just not a joke? And what are the things that we can really laugh at ourselves about? And if we can find the things that are a joke about ourselves, then we can have that kind of lightness to be able to laugh at ourselves, to be able to take things lightly, to not react out of defensiveness, you know, to try to protect our image, and just be able to have a good laugh, because it’s about the things that we choose.
And if other people laugh at things that are not what we consider funny, more we consider serious, that’s more of their problem.
Because we can choose for ourselves where we’re going to play it serious and where we’re going to play the comedy.
This is all part of this overall mix, how much of life is comedy, how much of life is dramatic or tragic or serious action or anything except comedy.
Somewhere there’s a balance, and when it comes to ourselves, seems like we can choose that balance for ourselves, and then we can set and kind of run our own comedy to protect ourselves from either going to complete seriousness or just being made a buffoon.
We set the parameters and mix it up between the serious and the comic.
So of course, I’d be curious to hear what you think about this.
How do we make this mix, and how do we treat ourselves when it comes to how lightly or seriously to take things?
#laughatyourself #takeyourselflightly #yourownjoke