Why so serious? We get disturbing news, have a heavy workload, feel emotional turmoil and add to that gloomy weather… Seriousness is the way to be if you are a mature adult. Or is it? The balance between lightness and seriousness has been explored through countless philosophical writings and is the topic for many books and movies. The struggle between dark and light is what makes for a good story. Do the good, light side aways win? Mostly. Why is that?
Light and Seriousness
When we look at people we all know some that are more serious than others. The more extreme sorts can turn socially awkward. The one that laughs out load during a classical concert, or the one who refuses to smile at a wedding. Finding an equilibrium is what we look for. The mid-way between light and seriousness. You cannot have an all Bond or Bergman (Ingmar!) weekend without going slightly mad, right?
I love the Oscars, HELLO Magazine and Monet. What do the three have in common? They bring lightness to my heart. The Oscars’s red carpet is something I look forward to each year. The clothes, the jewellery, and the blown-up egos make me feel great. HELLO Magazine writes nice about everyone – even if they are evil devils HELLO would have something nice and flattering to say. That is quite something, and perfect for a light hour of de-stress. Monet plays with light like no other. He captures moments of stillness and brings absolute depth yet lightness to the observer. The calm that Monet brings to a soul is total zen.
The importance to acknowledge both serious and lightness in your life is what brings about the search for balance. We look to find a way to capture the serious in our world, with an acceptance that lightness is needed too.
Nothing is ever mutually exclusive. You can do very so-called serious work and still read HELLO! In fact, many humanitarian aid workers who go from one emergency to another need these injections more than most. To allow a moment of absolute frivolity enter your heart allows you to balance out the sadness, anger and feelings of helplessness.
The Importance of Seriousness
What role does seriousness play in your mind? To recognise events with a certain consideration is important. If you are not able to apply sincerity, honesty and commitment to a situation – you can not be trusted. However if you get too serious about world news, your own feelings in a given moment, or the state of politics, you risk to become grim, stern and over bearing with your seriousness.
Certainly, it is important to be able to recognise important or consequential events in life. The ability to apply solemn consideration is an important quality. If you overdo it, you become all gloom and doom. If we lose our sense of humour, and the ability to see light in darkness we lose ourselves too. We sink into a black hole of self-important seriousness that ends up hurting others, as well as ourselves. Things take a magnified importance, and everything becomes coloured in grey.
“When seriousness is out of balance, we may fall into an abyss of depression, worry, and obsession. No matter what is happening in your life, a certain amount of joy, play, and relaxation can put things into perspective.” desert-alchemy.com
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The Importance of Lightness
Lightness allows the mind to relax instead of remaining clamped down on a problem. In opening your mind, you can start to breathe more freely. You rise above the limits of gravity and heaviness. There is a letting go of the weights of self-importance, the need to be “right,” and taking things too seriously. You can get some perspective and see more sides of an issue. From this position, new and more fulfilling options can be seen.
Humor is a great form of lightness, if used in the correct cultural context. If you have a sense of humor you access a lightness that can even help to move through difficulties and stuck situations.
When you are overly serious — or take yourself too seriously — you often get stuck in an unproductive stance. Lightness invites you to get rid of excess mental weight. So find your way to lightness whether it is to say that you will watch the Oscars just for the red carpet, or read HELLO because you can. You don’t have to be stuck in an “adult” role, overburdened by responsibilities and seriousness. Take a moment and lighten up! 🙂
Lightness also comes with a warning sign. If you take things too light, you may fall into the frivolous. For a person who escapes difficult conversations, conflict or sad situations with a forever smile, laughter or joke may have to consider undoing some of the lightness and delve deeper.
People who insist that things always stay light, who make fun of appearing too serious, or who invalidate their partner’s emotional issues are only stunting their own growth. If you often try to escape heavy situations, you need to pursue greater depth. The ability to work on things on a deeper level is essential to your personal growth and to your development of healthy relating skills.
“Feed yourself with the food of wisdom. Wisdom is recognised by joy and peace. When you allow your ways to be light you go high. When your path supports heaviness it weighs you down.” Raphael Zernoff
Light and Serious – A Healthy Balance
Balance between seriousness and lightness, work and play, is the key. We need to lighten up and not overburden ourselves to a degree of over-seriousness. Taking a break to watch the Oscars, or just watch kids play is a break from the world. That’s OK! You can be a very mature, adult person and love Bond movies and sing along to the Spice Girls.
The idea that life is all about James Bond or Ingmar Bergman makes for an unbalanced view. A little bit of both makes for a fresher vision and a lightness of being – that is bearable. Letting go of too much seriousness – or lightness – makes you resourceful, and able to take on what life demands of you.
I write this on Oscars night – and while the political overtones are clear out there – I will only watch it for the dresses, the make-up and that absolute frivolity of the moment. The winner is: Carpe diem!
Are You Watching the Oscars or Something Else? Comment, Please 🙂
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Inspiration to Feel, Be and Do Good
Warm thanks for this post. Humility and wisdom in one! Have just come back from a reading of Swedish writer Bodil Malmsten, who recently passed away. The theme: seriousness and lightness. As you say: it is all about balance.
Thanks for your thoughts, and how this post related to your recent readings. It is all related, and indeed balance is what makes us whole. Welcome back to The GOODista anytime±
I love the “Light and Seriousness” part of this issue, as well as the other topics on cleaning up, especially on clean eating! I will definitely be watching the Oscars, which I recorded in order to see it when I’ve finished my more “serious” business! This inspiration really came at a good time for me – Thanks for the “push”!
Dear Cecilia, Thanks for the comment, and so glad you found inspiration in this post 🙂 Enjoy the Oscars! Cheers and welcome back to The GOODista anytime.