Laugh Even When You Must Die to Self

"Laugh even when you must die to self" by Melanie Jean Juneau for

By Napoleon Vier (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Christians should laugh at ourselves as we go through the inner transformation because most of our inner anguish is self-inflicted and really quite ridiculous. Of course dying to self is not all fun and games but a sense of humour helps put our pain in perspective.
When we first discovered it is possible to become Christ’s presence on earth we were filled with joy; it was an epiphany for my husband and me about 30 years ago. We suddenly understood that resurrected life  was not just for a few saints.  Every normal Christian can come to the point where they shout with St. Paul,
“No longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me.”
What an awesome thought; mind-boggling, actually. We should be begging Christ to complete His work in us. So, if this journey is so exciting, why do many of us experience periods of depression and anxiety?

Depression and Anxiety

Well, there is the fact that we most often turn to God to radically heal our lives when we are desperate to change. Usually. we have exhausted all other avenues because, let’s face it, who wants to die to our false little selves that we have taken so long to build?
In addition, the process of transformation is unsettling. God must shake us out of our old habits, melt rigid mindsets and  shine light into our inner, secret, dark closets.
Dying to our old selves  is hard on our entire system including  emotions, bodies, mind and spirit. No wonder the spiritual journey is often called the Dark Night of the Soul and the Dark Night of the Spirit. ( St. John of the Cross).

Humour Helps

Humour, the ability to laugh, puts the whole process of inner transformation into perspective. If I am self-centered instead of God-centered, everything becomes intense and dramatic. When I take my eyes off myself my faith, my religious practices,  my spiritual “progress,” and look at my Saviour, everything comes back into the proper perspective.
This inner healing is God’s work.   Christ calls all of us to surrender, trust and receive;  receive  the Light of God, surrender my inner darkness and trust in the power of Christ’s Resurrected Love to redeem me. Period.
While on a journey to visit one of her convents, a donkey threw St. Theresa of Avila  into a stream of freezing cold water. Standing in her water-logged, heavy habit, she yelled at God,
“If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few!”
God’s literally killed her old self. Not all fun and games.
However, this whole process of inner transformation is His work, not mine. I am simply a child of God, gazing into His face and looking only to Christ to save me.
The inward spiritual journey is intense and often painful but if we keep a sense of humour, don’t take ourselves too seriously and stop meddling in God’s business, the journey becomes much easier.
Copyright 2016 Melanie Jean Juneau

About Author

Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, the Editor in Chief at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC & author of Echoes of the Divine.


  1. Began praying the Litany of Humility with sincerity instead of trepidation about two years ago. The transformation brought about by surrender to its realities, is profound. When I faced who I really was…whoa. It became much more appealing to focus on Jesus rather than my drama. Now I relax, and laugh.

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