Day 332: Facing The Dark With A Smile

Relationships, often portrayed with positive words such as love, appreciate, protect, secure, adore, etc., however, the truth of a relationship is something different. In Sweden, my country of birth, the divorce rate is at 50-55 % in relation to the amount of people getting married, and the median marriage lasts for 10 years. From those numbers it is not a big leap to say that the portrayed image of relationships is not wholly accurate. And expressed coarsely, the image broadcasted of relationships is outright deceptive. Without a doubt, the major part of any relationship consists of conflicts, misunderstandings, compromises, emotions, competition, and all other forms of dysfunctional human behavior that we all inherit and learn as we come of age. That is not strange considering that we always bring our baggage as we enter into a new relationship, it is thus, impossible to create a lovely and peaceful paradise on this earth – UNLESS – we have created OURSELVES as that in our individual capacity.

There is though ways to deal with the ‘human element’ that we unfortunately bring with us as we enter into a new relationship. In this blog I am going discuss one important tool to use in the creation of a comfortable and supportive relationship – HUMOR – or – the ability to be CAREFREE in the face of adversity. This point opened recently for me as I have noticed a tendency that I have to take things very seriously. For example, I will have a discussion with my partner that then becomes more of a intense disagreement, where emotions arise within me. Instead of looking at the reason for the conflict, and why I reacted, and how to solve it, so that I do not need to walk through the same conflict situation again – what I have done is that I have focused on the idea that it is WRONG to have conflicts/arguments. And instead of expanding myself, approaching conflicts from this judgmental vantage point results in suppression of what is really going on within me.

Suppression is and has been the modus operandi of us human beings when it comes to dealing with difficult shit since ages back, and it is so clearly visible in our society. What is prison, punishment, and social exclusion but a suppression mechanism, where we remove the ‘bad’ and ‘unwanted’ dimensions of our communal experience and put it away, far away and hidden from our immediate sight, instead of looking at WHY, and HOW it happened, and what SOLUTION there is to deal with the problem once and for all? The technique of suppression is also readily applied in parenting. When children cry, or behave ‘badly’, we look at ways to suppress the behavior, either through rewards, such as praising, or sweets, or through punishments, and consequences, though seldom, we look at the cause and origin of the troublesome behavior – and hence we miss out on the opportunity to create a sustainable and long-term solution.

The question to ask ourselves is thus, WHY do we have such a difficult time in looking at the DARK, MALEFICENT, HORRIBLE, and UNWANTED within ourselves, our relationships, and society? From what I have already touched upon above, one of the reasons for this is because we JUDGE it, we are too uptight about it, we take it personally, react to it, believe it is something bad, and that we must just, immediately, without further consideration, put it away – far away.

Hence, getting back to relationships, what is then the solution for this way of looking at the dark within ourselves? How can we assist and support ourselves to ease up and be less serious about the shit that is going on both within and without? The way forward as I see it is HUMOR – because it has the property of taking the edge of things, to make things seem silly, and remove that big, heavy reaction of something being sooo BAD. And here, I am not saying that humor should be the end point, because obviously, we have to learn from our mistakes, reflect and look at them, in order to move forward – however – if we look at our mistakes in a state of reaction – our focus will become misplaced. Instead of unconditionally looking at ways to improve, our focal point will be on determining how bad we have been, and how we must now punish ourselves, to apparently through that, motivate ourselves to not be bad again. Though, it is not important to determine how bad, and wrong we have been, that which is of real substantial value is to find a lasting, sustainable solution for the future, so that we are able to prevent further consequences.

HUMOR sounds like YOU-MORE – because through humor we are able to get back to that CAREFREE state of looking at things unconditionally – and thus we are able to SEE more of ourselves – see the reality of things – because humor disarms, it cuts through the defenses, and it allows us to get a glimpse of what is actually going on, which then puts us in a position to implement changes.

Hence, conflicts, disagreements, and in general, shit that happens in a relationship, a way to disarm the seriousness of it all is through HUMOR – through seeing the stupid shit that we do and that it is many times totally insane – how can we fight and argue about such pointless things and believe that it is absolutely a matter of life and death to get our version of the story heard? It is insane, and that is what makes it so HILARIOUS. Humor, hence, is an important tool in the creation of a effective relationship with our partner, and ourselves.

And how to then practically apply humor in a moment? Well, let us say that we are in a situation where I am having a disagreement with my partner about whether or whether not to tidy up after myself when I have used the kitchen, where I will then go to great lengths to explain, and win my partner over, to my way of dealing with the kitchen, where apparently my way of doing things is of great practical value. Instead, I could in that moment see how ridiculous it is that I am standing here, talking about such a absolutely insignificant thing as to how to clean the kitchen, defending my way of doing things with all I got, when it really has no value or importance to me at all.

Learn more about this way of living:

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