We all know how we light up each other when we give a smile to another. It can brighten someone’s day, bring them back from the brink, extend kindness to someone who is in desperate need.
When we smile, everyone around us is similarly invited to smile. And something happens to us all that changes the make up of our moment. Something else can happen because we are lightened from the inside out.
The smile may appear on our face, but it is really deep within us. This place that our soul intersects with the external world, is brightened, joyed, made happy and then shared with another. Smiling is my favorite to quote Elf.
Smiling can also be a cover. We smile when we feel uncomfortable. When we are trying to deceive others to make them believe something other than what we are...however, a true smile, is always received. It lands in the other with genuineness and authenticity. We may not always know when someone is faking it, but we absolutely know when it is real. A heartfelt smile is readily identifiable.
I do believe that the smile starts deep within us. It is conjured up from the depths of our souls and pushed outward toward others. But it begins with us.
I was reading something about the Tao the other day and I came upon their idea that the inner smile, a constant inner smile to oneself assures health, happiness and longevity. The Tao believes that smiling to yourself in like basking in love. You become your own best friend and freely give an indulgent smile to yourself. If you can figure out how to live with an inner smile, you have found a way to live with inner harmony with yourself.
I never really thought about this before, I never really thought about how smiling almost always involves other. But I realized that it didn’t have to. I could smile to myself for no other benefit than my own. I could lighten up and brighten up my own day just for myself. If someone else happens to catch my smile, so much the better! It would become a twofer.
I like this idea of living in harmony with myself. Especially after feeling like I have been at war with myself for so very long. Fighting with me about me, has been exhausting but all I knew for a very long time. Today, I do not do that anymore. The weapons of self destruction have been laid to rest. I only want to love, understand and accept me in my current flawed state and then learn how to do it better, if only for my own benefit.
Some of us are privileged to lead a long life. I wish I would have understood how important my relationship with myself and to myself was earlier. I would have taken better care of me, I would have been nicer to myself. I wouldn’t have tried to kill myself for so long. I would have worked harder to sort through my demons so that I could get to this place of inner smile and rest there awhile.
I have always been someone with an interior smile, and for the life of me, I cannot fathom why I hid it for so long, most especially from myself. Like everything in life, you don’t know until you know...so now, I know. I am grateful to know it now. I am grateful I can access it, and share it and most especially give it to myself. And I love that a smile is a service commitment to others, a sharing of something deep within me that grants another passage towards the light.