It’s 2 am and I’m lying under the covers wide awake. My mind is swirling with the challenges of the day, concerns of tomorrow, fears of what “could” happen in the future, and the nagging knowledge that I must get to sleep. At 2 am everything can feel bleak, imminent, and larger than life! When I wake up I can hear the birds in the trees, see the signs of a beautiful sunrise, and feel a breeze of fresh air brush over my face; somehow my anxiety in the darkness of night fades and I wonder why I was so overwhelmed.
I imagine you have had these same feelings in the darkness of night from time to time. When I experience this I wonder why I am so serious? Why have I piled the concerns of family, business, community, and the world on my own shoulders; shoulders that cannot bear the weight?
Why am I so serious?
I had a great opportunity to attend TedX in my hometown where one of the 15 minute talks addressed this very challenge. The speaker talked about how he found himself looking at life and business so seriously that he was heavy-hearted, angry, and reactive. Knowing himself to be a normally happy spirited person he assessed his thinking. The speaker gave himself two questions to ask himself in every challenging situation:
- What am I grateful for?
- What is funny about this?
The speaker expressed how this simple daily practice turned his perspective around. He had become so serious that everything was heavy and bleak, by looking for opportunities for laughter and gratefulness his spirit was lifted.
In the world today there are thousands who fight depression, chronic stress, and adrenal failure because of the stress they feel about life–life feels very serious to them. I often wonder if it changes us when we walk in heaviness over an extended period of time. Taking life too seriously is extremely stressful. All the expectation and pressure feels like wearing a heavy backpack. Stress drains our energy, dampens our enthusiasm and makes us sick. Lightening up takes the stress away and helps us live and enjoy life.
Are you too serious? Do you filter your days through life concerns? Do you bear a backpack of stress on a regular basis or have you allowed yourself to find the humor in life? Do you allow yourself to lay your burdens down and spend sweet time with the children in your life? Enjoy nature? play games? read a book that transports you to new places? enjoy great food with friends?
Life does have concerns, but it also has rich joys, opportunities for fresh memories, children to love, sites to explore, and most of all pockets of rich humor if we are looking for it.
Today–may your heart find joy. 🙂