Learning to Laugh at Trouble

Christina Carter listed her top ten laughter quotes for February on her blog today. I especially enjoyed this Edgar Watson Howe quote:
“If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you grow old.”
I have found this to be very true in my life. Now I am not saying that we should cavalierly brush off the sufferings and trials that affect us deeply. My thinking is that we should learn how to flow with difficulties. Here are a few things that I have learned about flowing with trouble:
  • Trouble is not permanent. There is a cliché that I don't care for but I think speaks to this. It says "This too shall pass". The months following Ellen's (my fist wife) death were horrible. I felt that my insides were being ripped from within me. Time helped put her death in perspective and I eventually was able to look back and celebrate our memories without experiencing pain.
  • Trouble reveals our need. We need others to help us heal. My friend Bob was one of those people. When Ellen died he regularly called me to check in on me. He had lost his wife years before that and really understood what I was going through. I have also helped others who have experienced great loss.
  • Trouble exposes our control issues. The scary truth about life is that we have little control over the most important things like health and adult children. Acknowledging this and discerning how to flow with life when bad things happen hit at the heart of how to laugh at trouble.
  • Trouble is relative. I cringe writing that. Yet the truth is that my troubles are often magnified because I take myself too seriously. Looking back I am amazed at the things that I considered "important". It does bring a smile to my face though. I am so egocentric. Good to know when you encounter trouble.
When I think about how I have learned to laugh at trouble I remember that life is something to be lived from my heart. When I live it from my head I forget that trouble is not permanent. My egocentric head tells me that I can go it alone. My brain deceives me and tells me that I am in control. Brainy pride causes me to take myself too seriously.

But my heart informs me that I can trust One greater than my trouble - One who loves me and walks through troubles with me. In my life learning to laugh at trouble is all about living from the deep place in me that I call my heart.

What have you learned in your life that has helped you to laugh at trouble.


  1. I love the Edgar Watson Howe quote :-)

    Your list is very good and helpful. Thank you :-)

    A pastor friend of mine once said, if your not experiencing any trouble in your life, don't worry you will.

    Job 5:7 (King James Version)
    Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

  2. Good quote and good list.

    I think sometimes we forget that trouble in this world is a given. What we do with it determines our disposition.

    Yes, Don and I have learned to lean and laugh on and with each other, and it makes for a much better air around you that is inviting to those we come in contact with. No one likes to be with complainer and those who have forgotten how to laugh.

    So yes, today I am laughing at my troubles. HaHaHa

    Very good article Bob. Lots to consider.

  3. Thanks for referencing my blog. I'm so happy that it struck a chord for you.

    I loved your share. Trouble is a great topic. What happens when you don't feel like laughing?

    When my father was dying of lung cancer. He focused on making those around him smile or laugh. By lifting others up it kept him in better spirits.

    Love how you brought it back to laughter. Another quote from Wayne Dyer says, "It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either."

    Keep laughing!

  4. So very true.and as the saying goes "Time heals all wounds."
    You have so many interesting posts. I'll come back to read others later.

  5. @ docmench - Thanks for the stopping by!


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