Our friends told us they were laughing boisterously in their car one day when they stopped to pick up their friends.
Their friends were busy yelling at each other, but paused long enough to ask, “Why are you two laughing?”
“Oh we’re not laughing, we’re fighting!” they replied.
“What do you mean?” the friends puzzled.
“Well, when we feel like fighting, we’ve agreed to laugh instead.”
Hearing this, we decided to try it. I (Joy) discovered right away was that it was impossible for me to start laughing when I was feeling seriously upset about something. It felt like what was important to me was somehow being negated or diminished. That didn’t feel right at all! We talked about it a little, and decided to let it percolate awhile. After a couple of days, it occurred to me that my relationship with James is way more important to me than whatever upset had been afoot that day. I took myself five years into the future, looked back at this upset of mine, and found that I could laugh. With practice, it’s become easier. And when James comes out with a big belly laugh, there’s no way I can keep a straight face!