Friday, March 27, 2009

How To Hold A Smile

"When we yield to discouragement or despair it is usually because we give too much thought to the past and to the future," said St. Therese of Lisieux. Boy, ain't that the truth. That's what comes from drifting off task. The task of learning to successfully live in the moment. Period.

Yesterday after reading Another Quiet Moment, Michael made a keen observation. He was struck by the heart-tugging beauty of Olivia's smiling baby face, "Wow, when you see a smile that big in a face that small, you realize that smiling isn't learned's what we come with. You have to wonder how we allow our smiles to be erased."

Our smiles erased. That's powerful. Erased.

It happens through the toil and struggles most of us deal with daily. I know it's because of the negative space that fills so many of us and our brains. Life is hard. Truly hard lately.

But is it hard enough to rob us of something that is our birth right? Our natural way of being? The light in us?

It shouldn't be. But, for many, it is. It made me wonder, when was the last time I really smiled? I try to do it every day. At least once... I know I try. But, our smiles are erased bit by tiny bit without our awareness. And, I think like most talents, if you don't use them, you lose them. Funny- a smile can only be given away, but the ability to smile can be too, if you're not careful.

Here's one thing I know...while I agree with Michael that smiling is a talent that we come with, what is learned behavior, is the artificial smile that so many of us get a day. You know the one I'm talking about...the smile that hits the lips but never travels up to the eyes?

I hate those. I'd really rather a person deal with me genuinely...if you don't want to smile at me, then don't. But, don't give me less than your truth. Smile at me with your entire face, not just your lips. Don't condescend as though I don't know that you're not genuine.

The other smile that is disturbing, is the one that makes the person look as though they're snarling at you or will eat you momentarily. I so don't need to see those, either.

So, where's your smile today? Have you seen it? Have you spontaneously shared it? Even if you're alone...did you smile when you spoke to your pet? If you don't have a pet, did you at least remember to smile at your reflection this morning? It may be the only smile you get, but at least it's a good one.

If the answer is no, then is it because you fit St. Therese's description? Are your thoughts stuck in your past or racing ahead into The Uncertain to come? I know that's what's been going on with me lately. There's some stuff going on in the Frock family that is hard...stuff I'll probably share when I know more. But stuff is stuff. And, it's making me weary; erasing my smile.

Today, I'm going to do my best to live in the moment. Moment by moment. Collapse my awareness of my troubles by concentrating on every task at hand. I just remembered to smile at Rory. I smiled when Michael took off for another long day, and I made certain that my loving smile migrated all the way to my eyes. So, I garanteed he has at least one for the day.

And, I smiled just now as I typed these words so that you can feel it when you read this.

Do not yield to discouragement and despair. "You'll find that life is so worthwhile if you just, Smile."

Namaste' Till Next Time,


cinner said...

Holly, you can tell by your profile pic that you have a great smile. You are just beaming. I agree that there are not enough smiles in the world. One day when out walking, I had decided I would smile and say hello to everyone I met. I think some people thought what a nutbar!!!!But I did not care, it made me feel great. I hope all goes well with whatever issues you are going through. all my best, take care my friend, cinner

Cam@Journey Wildly said...

You know this made me smile!! I smile so much I wonder if people think I am silly, a little. I smile anyway. I have the soul of a clown, and my son does too, so we are always cracking each other up!

What a great reminder!

Opie said...

I truly smiled twice today. The first was when I was getting ready to leave for work, I reached up and touched the little box containing the remains of my best friend and companion, Dash. As soon as I touched the box I saw plain as day his smiling face and wagging tail. The second was when I read today's entry and remembered the smile I had on my face then. Thank you for helping relive that moment.

Toni said...

Practice this, if'n you're ever guilty of artificially smiling (*snarling) ... smile in/with your eyes FIRST, before you let your mouth go there. It's NOT as easy as it sounds, and it's proof of a genuine smile when you barely get the twinkle in your eyes and then it just 'splodes through your whole face.

That being said, here's a SWEET reminder to me, on my ultimate awful worst day of every week, to try to wedge a coupla of these toothy explosive grins at folks ... I know I'LL feel better if I can do it.

Ribbon said...

I love to share smiles :-)

best wishes Ribbon

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