Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Recapture Your Smile

Lately I've become more aware of my sense of self when I laugh and when I frown. It's like laughter brings out a part of me that frowning can't touch. One expresses from my heart, while the other is from my human mind. And each provides a very different perspective of who I am. Laughter reminds me that I am my true self as I was created, and when I frown I lose sight of that beautiful truth.

Smiles contain powerful energy--the good kind--the kind that transcends our pain and heals our wounds. And a belly laugh can turn a cloud into a rainbow. Laughter can dry our tears, and a smile at just the right moment has been known to actually save a person's life. And it's contagious. We tend to laugh when we hear others laughing. What a precious gift. I think God gave us this blessing, because He knew we would need it here on earth.

When I'm out running errands, I see people frowning. Some respond to my smiles. Some don't. Maybe the ones who don't respond haven't learned how to take care of business and smile at the same time, or maybe they're dealing with a heavy heart. Or maybe they just forgot how to smile.

Some children have pain and sadness in their lives, but they're ingenious, and they find ways to survive through laughter. I like to watch the innocent wonder on the faces of children. They're fascinated with life. I remember a time last year when I was behind a family in the checkout line in the grocery store, and a little girl about 2 years old was sitting in the basket ahead of me. She found the child in me, and we had a great time. We waved, blinked our eyes, and laughed together. It reminded me of the little child in each of us, that part of us that needs to play and laugh--that part that has not forgotten what is truly important and enduring in this human condition. Sometimes we lose that spirit when we grow up,and we forget when we used to laugh or how to even find a smile. We could take a lesson from the little ones.

When times are hard, we need to look to our inner child who remembers how to turn a painful challenge into a time of hope, and recapture a smile even when we feel the situation doesn't deserve one. Try it anyway, and watch a grin become a smile, a smile break into laughter, and your heart find peace and joy.

You are not your illness. You are not those bills you can't pay. You are not the crises in your life. Those are challenges you're dealing with. You are beautiful.

I wish you a joyful heart.


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