What laughing off our flaws really says about us


  1. “I can’t believe I slacked so hard on that presentation, they ought to kick me to the curb! HA!!!”
  2. “Man, I acted a fool with that chick last night, she was BAD!  I never should have gone to that club with you!  HA!!!
  3. “Oh, I’ll work all night long if they’re paying me that kind of money.  For the love of money indeed!  HA!!!”
  4. “Ooooo they pissed me off.  I just had to cuss them out, they’re lucky that was all I did!  HA!!!”
  5. “I’m about to wear this doughnut all over my hips!  Man, I ought to hit the gym instead of this eclair.  HA!!!”
  6. “She just thinks she is too perfect.  I know a thing or too that’ll knock her down a peg.  HA!!!”
  7. “What do I look like, asking for help?  I’m a superhero, superheros don’t need help! HA!!!”

Often we laugh about, or make light of things we do, say, think or feel that aren’t funny at all.

Why?

Not only does it make light of something serious we should explore within ourselves and master…

If you do it enough…

You begin to embrace it, appreciate it, encourage and nurture it.

Pretty soon you’ve earned the label you joked about.  And when other folks apply it to you, the wondering begins.  When did I become the slacker?  The over-eater? The ladies’ man? The money-obsessed guy? The jealous chick? The conceited one? The loose cannon?

Well, rarely does this stuff jump up with a sign saying, I’m a big deal! Handle me!

Our troubles develop slowly over time, because there’s a wound we haven’t healed, and allowed to become infected.  Like a cut, you do what you think is needed to promote emotional healing, just like when physical healing is needed.  Maybe you journal, you vent, you cut your hair, you go on vacation.

With a physical wound, a doctor would notice a reddish color or swelling as a danger sign for a healing cut, but we usually won’t.  Then when too much time has passed, we think, “Hmmm.  This should have healed by now.  I’ll be extra careful and if it’s not improved in a couple days, go to the doctor.”

Our emotional wounds aren’t that easy.

An initial emotional wound will morph into something different over time.  When the symptoms of infection show, not only will they look completely unrelated, they will masquerade as fun and pleasure.

Instead of realizing your wound is getting worse, there’s a good chance you’ll dive headlong into distracting stuff that feels good until maybe it’s too late.

We really do know better though.  Even if we don’t realize it.

Those jokes at our own expense, the dismissal of transgressions… That’s the reddened, swelling flesh around our wound.

We’re telling ourselves, “Oh look.  There’s something wrong.”

But because we can’t see the adjacent wound that caused the infection, we don’t realize we need to work on healing it, and seek help if that doesn’t work… We let our confusion lead us to laugh it off.

The crazy part is, when we laugh off stuff we need to figure out, we delay our healing and no one gets hurt but us.

When we laugh off, dismiss, or celebrate what we should be healing, what are we really saying?

  1. Embracing laziness and sloth says, I can’t succeed, so I’m going to be the worst version of me I can be, by not even trying.  Why set myself up to fail?
  2. Casual sex and lust says, I don’t believe I’m enough for one person to commit to and be satisfied with.  I’ll use the shallow easy stuff to distract me.   
  3. Greed says nothing will ever be enough for me, not even who I am.  I’ll just keep chasing stuff to keep me from looking inside to see my emptiness.
  4. Anger and wrath say if I could beat myself up and hurt myself I would.  But, because of this pesky self-preservation instinct, I’ll be angry at you instead.
  5. Over-eating and gluttony says I’m not even worthy of my own care.  I’ll try to convince  myself every bite is a chance to fill myself up with love. 
  6. Jealousy and envy says I really wish I were someone else.  I wish I were anyone but me.  And I hate that.
  7. Arrogance and pride say I’m scared to open myself up to hurt.  So I’m going to build a thick impenetrable wall around me… And convince myself no one will see it.  

What are you laughing off, that needs a deeper look?

Pay attention to those moments, and see them as an early sign of an infection.

The balm is love.

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