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  • SuePattonThoele

Finding Amusement



What a great friend we would be if we could lighten our friends’ burdens and shine light into every dark corner of their lives. Most of us probably already do a lot of that, as we are natural light-bearers and love dispelling gloom and darkness wherever and whenever we can. As I said before, being able to see, hear, and hold others helps dissipate the darkness of loneliness and despair, and humor is a great leavening agent for almost all situations. Hopefully, we also compassionately sprinkle darkness-obliterating fairy dust upon ourselves as well.


Above and beyond that, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could lighten our lives by finding amusement in many experiences much of the time? I learned this idea from one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Mary Bell Nyman, who believes that the ability to find amusement in ourselves and our circumstances is one of the most life-enhancing habits we can acquire. Being a lover of laughter and chuckles, I wholeheartedly agree with Mary Bell and decided to adopt an Attitude of Amusement as much as possible. I was doing really well in my amusement practice until...


One of the realities of life is there will probably always be an “until” and mine was the advent of surprise construction in back of our house. We knew there would eventually be construction across the creek and that the zoning was light industrial. What we didn’t know was that light industrial includes warehouses. This warehouse is a behemoth; the side toward our house will be 45 feet tall and 165 feet wide. The developers are building a berm—which we’ve dubbed Mt. Baldy—to block out half the height, but the size of the berm itself has already changed the entire feel of our home, our sanctuary. Plus, since noise is my nemesis, the construction itself is crazy-making. I’m sure if the same earth movers were creating a park, the noise might not seem like such an affront. An Intention toward Amusement helps a tiny little bit.


Although I am nowhere near finding amusement in this particular situation, I am beginning to hold an Attitude of Amusement about many other things, and doing so is lightening and leavening my life in wonderful ways.


During your day...


  • Set your sights on amusement.

  • Notice little things that make you smile and lighten your heart, if only a smidgeon. (Kitty videos are A-OK.)

  • Lighten your attitude toward one of your own foibles, if possible.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things

I cannot change; courage to change the things I

can; and wisdom to know the difference.


And an Attitude of Amusement especially

when serenity, courage, and wisdom elude me.

—Reinhold Niebuhr (and me)

Excerpted from The Woman's Book of Strength by Sue Patton Thoele. Available on Mango and Amazon.


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