The burden of self is lightened when I laugh at myself
-Rabindranath Tagore

Today’s quotation brings up two important points. First and foremost, it mentions the ‘burden of self’, a concept at the very heart of addictive patterns. Much of life is unavoidably burdensome. If we don’t learn to address this inevitable aspect of the human experience in direct and healthy ways, we may create emotional short cuts in the form of addictions. While no one gets to avoid experiencing the many discomforts that come with being a sentient human being, if we become dependent on avoiding them through external means, addictions are born and the burden is inevitably deepened. As this deepening occurs, so, too, do our avoidance behaviors, and in turn, our addictions. And this is where laughter can play a role. Laughter is one of the healthies natural tonics available to us. Laughter is not only good for the physiology in many ways, it also represents a psychological stance that honors the absurdity of the human experience, burden and all. As mortal beings, without the ability to laugh at our ourselves, we are forced into debilitating seriousness. And while we may need to take life and recovery seriously, we also need to be able to let go of the struggle from time-to-time and just laugh.

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