When Life Happens, Laugh!

A funny thing happened after Laughter Yoga class yesterday…

Someone backed into my car by accident and put a rather large crack in the bumper. It is difficult for me to remember my first reaction because it wasn’t a traumatic feeling. Of course I wished it hadn’t happened, but it did. So, we had a little laugh about it, discussed insurance, hugged, and went about our respective days. The rest of my day was enjoyable – errand at a local shop, trip to the library to pick up some books, and back home to log back into work before the evening routine of dinner, reading, and bed.

I can’t help but be reminded of the last time something like this happened in my life. About 7 years ago a van backed into my car, leaving a dent in the rear side panel. I witnessed the entire event and after realizing that the man was not going to stop, tried to chase him down, yelling the whole way. Oh! I was so mad! I reported the incident to the police. I fumed about the incident for days and relayed my story to every sympathetic ear who would hear it. And every time I saw the dent, I was reminded of that feeling of anger and helplessness.

Perhaps it helped yesterday’s experience that the person remained on the scene, but I believe it’s much more than that. I still remember my first reaction from that day 7 years ago before the man drove away. And it wasn’t anger; it was fear. But that fear quickly stoked itself into anger and that anger didn’t let up it’s grip on my mood very easily. In sharp contrast, I have no traumatic feelings associated with the accident yesterday. In fact, I completely sympathize with the person who hit me. No fear and no anger. What I remember is a mostly pleasant day with wonderful memories of friends, laughter, discovery, and routine.

So what made the difference? About 5 or 6 years ago, I started on a personal journey to find more happiness within myself, to choose positivity where possible, to flow with life’s changes, and to drop the victim mentality of “things happening TO me. ” It hasn’t always been easy, and I forgot more than I remembered at the beginning, but with practice it became easier. I think all of these things have been instrumental in allowing me to face my daily challenges, big or small, with more patience, compassion, and love. I still forget at times (don’t ask my teen-aged son how patient I am…) but I’m not finished with my practice.

And Laughter Yoga doesn’t hurt either. 🙂


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kate
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 11:02:12

    i’m glad you can laugh that;s good. even better that you can hug the perpetrator. you rock


  2. elizabethsaidso
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 07:43:07

    You know, I also remember the time about 14 years ago that I was the one who backed into someone. It was a horrible feeling, and especially when it is your fault, you have no idea how the other person is going to react… You just have to try to remember that no one started out the day deciding it was a good day to damage someone else’s car. (Unless they did, but that’s another story, LOL.) And hugs are highly underrated and vastly under-given, so any opportunity to give a hug is awesome. 🙂


  3. Molly
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 17:33:10

    I loved your attitude. In this situation I would feel worse for the person who hit me, especially a friend. You are so right no one plans to add stress to their life by hitting some ones car. Many years ago I took on the attitude of not taking things personally. Most people, including myself, don’t mean to make mistakes but we are only human.


  4. Trackback: A Fall From Pollyanna’s Wagon « Elizabeth Said So

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