Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying.
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile.
(c) Nat King Cole
One of my favorite movie lines of all time comes from Dolly Parton’s character Truvy in “Steel Magnolias.” She said, “Smile, Honey, it increases your face value!” It is just as country as the day is long but it makes perfect sense. Life might be throwing you lemons, you could have a Charlie Brown rain cloud over your life and the world could be crumbling around you – there is no reason to look like it.
As long as you live, there is something in life that will not be right. Something will not go according to plan. Somebody will piss you off. It’s not all roses and there is nothing that can change that. There is no salve, no therapy, you just have to go through it. Since you have to do it anyway, why not do it with a smile?
Smiles are usually associated with pleasing or pleasurable moments or amusement while frowns and scowls are usually indicative of discomfort and anger. I kind of believe smiles and frowns will tell all your business about how you feel about life. A lot of people who are unhappy and displeased about their lives tend to have a permanent scowl while those folks in a state of joy are the opposite. Those who are joyous find a way to smile through life’s victories and defeats. It’s their way of saying, “Yea, this sucks, but, life is still good.”
In a guest post on Rene Syler’s site, Good Enough Mother, I was asked whether or not I am happier now than before. My answer was and is that joy is our natural state and yes, I am happier but I am going natural. I want you guys to go natural, too. The first step, tho, is genuinely simply turning those corners of your mouth upward and actually smiling. While you may not see where you have things to smile about in your life, I challenge you to switch your focus. Start thinking about the things that you have to smile about rather than those things that have stolen your smile.
The fact that you woke up, that you’re breathing on your own, that you can read this very post – these are all reasons to smile. Everyone can’t say that. Once you stop taking everything for granted and remembering all the little things that could go the other way, you will find your smile. A big ol’ toothy, nose to ear smile that would melt the hearts of Cruella De Vil from “101 Dalmatians,” Scar from “The Lion King” and the Shadow Man from “The Princess and the Frog.”
Smiles are usually contagious. Hell, if you see somebody who needs one, give ‘em one of yours. A well placed smile is like an aspirin for the heart. It won’t take care of the actual problem but it will dull the pain for a bit. I hope you can find your own smile. If not, I’ll share! Happy New Week!