It seems as though being sick means you are not supposed to have a good time…but why not? If you are going to deal with health challenges, have a good time doing it. If you have a choice, which you do, why not choose to enjoy yourself? Humor can set the tone of how you deal with difficult challenges, either light or heavy. How you interpret your reality defines the quality of your life and your ability to meet your challenge.

Humor is an amazing tool for conscious communication. Let’s look at you relating to others, their relating to you and you relating to yourself.

Humor gives you the ability to establish open communications. When you relate to others, humor can eliminate frustrations, fears and self-pity. For instance, when I talk about my health, humor allows me to share by eliminating my ego’s involvement. I use a wheelchair and am legally blind; but might say “I’ll run over to see you.” I often tell people when I struggle with my handicaps: “In golf, handicaps are given to the good golfers to make the competition equal.”

Being handicapped, I often feel the discomfort of others relating to me. Sometimes, I feel it is harder to relate to a handicapped person than it is to be handicapped. I feel that when you are handicapped, you have the ability to be who you are and just deal with the challenges before you. Humor gives you the ability to step back and view how people relate to you from a detached perspective. For instance, people often come up to me and tell me “I know exactly how you feel.” My response: “It has taken me 60 years to know exactly how I feel. That’s pretty good: I just met you.”

Humor can help how you decide how to relate to yourself. When I use humor, it can lessen the burden of dealing with my handicaps. When I asked someone out on a date, I might say: “Would you like to go out on a blind date?” When my legal blindness causes me to do something stupid, like going into the Women’s room by mistake, I’ll talk to myself: “Good job. You really showed them.” Being able to laugh at yourself and your situation seems to make dealing with your challenges easier and with less self-judgment.

Humor should be used for enjoyment and bringing people closer. It is not meant for embarrassment, ridicule, or one-up-man-ship. The most important rule when using humor is ‘be sensitive.’ Insensitive humor has the tendency to offend people and create distance between them.

Humor has an amazing quality of allowing you to enjoy yourself, even if you are sick or disabled. If you are alone or with friends, humor puts quality into your interactions. You might think that when you are alone you can’t relate to yourself. But, when you become conscious in the moment, you have the ability to talk to yourself from a perspective of wisdom. This guidance is a precious gift when you go through difficult times. Wisdom has an amazing ability to find humor in the most difficult times.
When we find ourselves in difficult times, the natural reaction is to look outside for help. I want to suggest an intermediate step before you ask for help; find the quality of humor in your life and you will deal with your challenges better.
© 2011 Marc Lerner and Life Skills Institute

Author's Bio: 

Marc Lerner is the President of Life Skills Institute and has been working since 1982 with people in a health struggle. He is the author of A HEALTHY WAY TO BE SICK, which teaches you how to consciously create yourself in the midst of a health challenge. Marc was the host of the internet radio show, A Healthy Way to be Sick. Go to: http://lifeskillsinc.com to listen to all archived shows.
Marc has had MS since 1981, is legally blind and in a wheelchair. The idea of a healthy way to be sick reflects a positive spirit during difficult times. If a patient consciously approached the healing process, they would become valuable partners with their doctor. Marc has been working with people in a health crisis for decades and knows that this is a significant resource in a national health plan. Marc has developed simple techniques that transport your consciousness to powerful inner resources which can reduce medical expenses and personal anxiety.