The healing power of a belly laugh

I’ve noticed a difference in my own laugh lately.  It used to be, and for a very long time, a short, almost manly guffaw.  Lift my head back or bend forward and pull off a low range of trippy dins that would be ultimately forced.

I could not remember the last time I actually heard my authentic, honest to goodness belly laugh.  Took me by surprise, it did, and it hurt a little too.  I mean, things made me laugh no matter how sad or depressed I have been through these last few years.  But, I was never fully in the moment, always on the fringe, with the chaos swirling about me like a perpetual storm brewing.  I dislike being fake, yet, it is expected after such experiences.  No matter what has happened, you must put on your face every morning and get out there like society requires you to do.  Melancholy is frowned upon if you allow it to linger too long and the resulting emotions are a disease to be treated by doctors and pills rather than good old fashioned time.  I tried.

I don’t want to go through life not knowing myself.  I also don’t want to go through life forgetting myself.  These two things happen sometimes, in times of crisis, or loss or even if your unhappy in a job or a relationship.  It sneaks up on you until one day you look in the mirror and you have no idea who that person is looking back.

For the longest time I was in negative reflection, I would see bags under my red rim eyes and I saw old and tired, I would not smile or talk or engage unless forced and I felt ill-tempered, misplaced and off.  I never ever wanted to go out and I saw lonely.  Not to mention the stress weight I gained? Old, tired, lonely and fat.   I felt miserable for a very long time.

My smile is wicked and it used to go right to my eyes, the crinkles remain, and, it used to be a permanent fixture.  I feel its presence lingering more and more, lifting at the corners at unexpected moments, my naturally white teeth displayed when something amusing reaches me deeper.

laughing-buddahMy real laugh is childlike, it starts out breathless, like trying to suck in air when you have food in your mouth. Hard to do. Then it bursts out with long, sometimes loud, chortles that can be heard from room to room, reminiscent of my late aunt’s one of a kind, wonderful horselaugh.  Then comes the delightful round of bubbly giggles and sometimes even an unexpected snort.  Those belly laugh snorts come back to haunt me a minute or an hour or even an evening later and I enjoy myself a second time over the same hilarious thing.  It really is a sound I have missed and was almost shocked to hear it when I did.

Young, vibrant, happy and carefree she is.  That’s me. God I love that child within.   I wanted to run to a mirror to see her looking back at me but I knew it was too soon.  My soul may be healing nicely but my body took a knock out, one-two-three punch and that needs some serious time and a little work on my part.

Just to let the record show.  I’m back.  Not full time. Part time. You may see me make some eye contact or {gasps} take the initiative to wave or say hello.  I know. I KNOOOW. It’s silly and yet it is what it is.  I left, became a zombie. I walked about, mindlessly, angrily, sadly, through the sentiments of life.  Serious mind fuck when you realize where you’ve been and what you’ve done and where the time went.  Anger, denial, guilt.  It’s all part of the phase of waking back up.  But, it’s the phase that is on the far side of where you started and that is a good thing.
sealThose fake trippy dins are in the past now.  Echoes of me are in the side splitters you hear.  Make me laugh. Make me laugh so that my stomach hurts.  Neither of us will regret it.

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