I found the following in an article called “Playful Presence.” The article comes from a site called Good Clean Love Daily. The site is for couples and all things related to coupling. It’s one of a number of sites that I have clicked my way through, and have made a habit of clicking through rapidly – because some of the contents might be considered NSFK (as in Not Safe for Kids). I feel it’s a bit prude-like of me to even make such a distinction. Loving fun, as I’ve written elsewhere, is loving. It’s an act of love that sustains and deepens our relationships with each other – with our partners, our children, our pets, our world. I have come to believe that any genuine act of love is fun of the deepest kind, and is as precious as play, as joy, as life itself.
Here’s what I wanted to share with you from the Good Clean Love Daily site. This should explain everything:
At its source, playfulness is a bi-product of being fully present. Bringing our full presence to any moment is where we can experience life spontaneously. And spontaneity is one of the main engines of play. It happens when we lose our propensity for judging the mishaps and the details of life. When we aren’t reacting to the details, life surprises you. Becoming more playful can be as simple as a shift in view- celebrating the ridiculous instead of getting mired in the annoying. Treating our own frailties to a little fun is where grace steps in to replace these as ready sources of shame or alienation.
Many wrongly think of play as a frivolous waste of time, when in actuality, playing creates new neural activity. Many studies show that it is during play where the greatest education occurs, which is why many of the most well-known scientists and spiritual leaders extol play as the source of their genius.
Shared humor is very different from sarcastic humor, which takes someone hostage. If one of you ends up feeling badly at the expense of someone’s joke, it isn’t funny. When playfulness is one-sided rather than mutual it is damaging to the relationship and undermines the trust you worked so hard to build. Just as no one wants to be the brunt of another’s hurtful joke, using humor to cover up other emotions that deserve a voice, backfires. Anger, fear and hurt feelings cannot be joked away. Instead they linger and slowly transform unexpressed emotions into the distance that keeps us apart. Don’t confuse these behaviors for playfulness; real play is always heart opening.