Humor can be a powerful tool in our personal lives and as therapy professionals. According to William Arthur Ward, "A well developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tight rope of life."
A few years ago I was asked to speak to a group of women on the topic “Balance in Our Lives.” While I do not presume to be an expert on the subject, I do understand the importance of balance of body, mind and spirit in our lives. If just one of those three is out of sync, all three will suffer.
As I spoke to my audience, I noticed a few people sat with their arms folded across their chests. They looked very somber. Some refused to laugh at the jokes I interspersed along the way. Was I offending them or was I hitting some raw nerves as I addressed the issues? Maybe they didn’t think I was funny. I knew I was in trouble somehow.
As the hour long presentation moved forward, I decided to confront the attendees. “Tell me what you’re thinking. Do you agree or disagree that we are all responsible for our own health and happiness?” From the back of the room, a woman spoke. “The guilty taketh the truth to be hard.” Nervous laughter broke out.
At that point, I realized that I had hit on a sensitive topic. We all have something we’re dealing with, don’t we? We all have issues of some kind in our lives. No one is perfect, but somehow we think we should be. More often than not, we’re too hard on ourselves.
Can humor get us through our personal predicaments and therapy career or should we all put on an upside down smile and plow through our lives in a funk? Perhaps when our lives do tilt off kilter, we can use that humor in therapy as our balancing pole to regain our stability. Those tight rope walkers are on to something I tell you!
Read more about author Janet Izzo
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