Don’t be fooled.

So far today, I have smiled at each person I have encountered. But don’t be fooled – what I really wanted to do was scream with the lung capacity of 10 opera singers.

My day is far from perfect, but I choose to smile anyway.

“The smile on my face doesn’t mean my life is perfect. It means I appreciate what I have and what God has blessed me with.”

I don’t know who said this. It popped up as I scrolled through Pinterest. Google couldn’t attribute it to anyone in particular, so I’ll just put it there and say “thank you” to whomever crafted those words in such a positive way and placed them where I could stumble onto them. 

Having problems in your life doesn’t mean you have to grimace at everyone you meet. Walking around with your head held high and a smile on your face doesn’t make you fake or Pollyanna. It can simply mean you are choosing not to let stress and Life and difficulties win.

You are choosing to smile. What’s wrong with that?

So often, people say things like, “Look at her. She’s so fake. I overheard her earlier going on and on about how mad she was and now she’s walking around with a grin. Who does she think she’s fooling?”

Answer: everyone, but most importantly, myself.

No matter what obstacles I’ve had to cross in a day’s span, there is no reason to take it out on other people. That random gentleman at the store didn’t cause me to have a bad day. What do I gain by glaring at him? Nothing.

The sweet lady who smiled in the hall at work doesn’t deserve to be met with rolling eyes and deep sighs. What will that accomplish? I can’t say, “nothing” in response to that because it, in fact, will accomplish something – it will make me look ridiculous.

It’s okay to be mad and to let that anger be known. Sometimes it helps to talk about it. Just don’t go spewing venom and leaving soul-crushing devastation in your wake when the people to whom you are directing it probably did nothing to cause it.

The whole world is not out to get you.

If you want to grimace at someone, direct it at the person who made you mad. Confront them. Find a resolution to the problem or at the very least make sure they understand why you’re mad. If it’s one of Life’s situations that is causing you despair, remove yourself from the problem or try to find a solution.

But most of all, keep smiling and remember that the whole world didn’t cause you heartache, so there is no reason to burn it all down with your fiery stares. Smile, and the majority of the world will smile back.

It works. Try it. I’m trying it today with every breath I take. I’m not certain how well I’m doing, but no unsuspecting innocents have spontaneously burst into flames, so I figure I’m off to a good start.

Today, I choose to address my problems appropriately and behind closed doors with the parties involved and leave the innocent bystanders to go about their day unscathed. My smile and a friendly greeting to passersby lets them know I am blessed, loved and thankful.

Neither they nor I gain anything from their knowing the rest of the story.

* Engaging smile-itude *

Wish me luck.

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About Rebecca Mixon

If you attend my funeral, please wear red. Make sure my loved ones do not bury me in shoes, and make sure they don't let the undertaker make me look ridiculous. I want beautiful music and lots of storytelling. All that will be great once I'm gone from this Earth. But, while I'm here, give me my flowers while I live. It has come to my attention lately that we don't "give people their flowers" until it's too late for them to enjoy the beauty, the colors, the sentiment. I'm changing that. The people in my life will know how they are appreciated and loved, and they will smell the aroma of their flowers as often as I get the chance to tell them. This blog is about the blessings in my life. Mainly, it's about the people who keep my world spinning on a good axis and help me realize that work, bills and stress mean nothing. Family counts. The rest is just gravy.
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2 Responses to Don’t be fooled.

  1. Sajib says:

    You’re right in a sense. Not that I smile with everyone, but I show off an attitude that lead others to think that I’m quite happy with my life. There are things in my life that make me cry every other night. But what’s the benefit of showing this to others? None, absolutely. So, I wear a mask.

    • Yes and no. I don’t advocate wearing a mask and hiding your pain from the world. Sometimes letting people in is the best way to avoid needing that mask. I just don’t think we should try to ruin everyone else’s day and always be negative just because we’re mad or upset about something. Sometimes you will feel better simply by putting on a smile and reminding yourself that no matter how bad things seem at the moment, you are blessed and loved and have reasons to be thankful.

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