When he was five years old, I had to explain to my son, that while God gave me many good gifts, he didn’t give me the gift of a singing voice. With the compassionate heart of a child my son quickly assured me that my singing was beautiful. I know better but, I still like to sing.
The memory of that conversation makes me smile. I think acknowledging shortcomings and being able to laugh at our fumbles and foibles is a wonderful road to acceptance. Sure, there are values and ideals that we hold dear and for which we should always strive. But, how many times do we place unnecessary, even impossible expectations on ourselves and others?
What would happen if the house wasn’t vacuumed today or the car washed before the weekend? What would happen if we looked at life with new eyes? If we learned to say, “Oh well, let’s give it a try anyway and see what happens!” When was the last time that you laughed at the project that didn’t go according to plan?
Laughter can have great healing power for the soul and the body. The great American painter Grant Wood said: “I found the answer (to how and what to paint) when I joined a school of painters in Paris after the war who called themselves neomeditationist. They believed an artist had to wait for inspiration, very quietly. And they did most of the waiting at the Café du Dome or the Rotonde with brandy. It was then that I realized that all the really good ideas I’d ever had came to me while I was milking a cow. So I went back to Iowa.
Give it a try, roll with the punches, laugh when it doesn’t turn out exactly right and know how good that laughter feels. Good for the soul and the body.