How quickly does an answer come to mind?
I am not talking about laughing at an Instagram post or a WhatsApp message or laughing at someone, or about someone.
I get it, we seldom think about what truly brings a smile to our faces. Let’s be honest, who even has time to smile these days, and if you had a moment, what the hell is there left to smile about? Fuel prices are sky-high and food has become so expensive that a permanent diet is definitely on the cards. Oh, and let’s not get started on taxes. Every cent is taxed at least 3 times; when you earn it, when you spend it, & when you invest or sell it.
In fact, even in death, Caesar wants what Caesar wants. No reprieve darlings.
So tell me, what makes you smile?
I believe that the answers to this question can only be discovered when you actually start looking for things to smile about on a daily basis rather than waiting for things to happen to make you smile.
You may be asking if smiling every day is even possible. I would ask you, are you guaranteed a smile if you wait, are you guaranteed another opportunity?
The un-lived life
Carl Jung stated that “nothing has a more disturbing influence psychologically on children than the un-lived life of a parent”.
Does an unlived life simply not produce those moments that draw a smile from deep within? One that warms a room & lifts the veil on a shadowy day.
There truly is a difference between “living in the moment” v. “living for the moment”.
What does it take for you to smile in this moment?
Don’t save your smiles for that moment when ……..the house is paid, the kids are finished with Matric, the next promotion. Who knows, these moments may never come. Imagine how many lives could be changed by your smile, consider how your life could change should you dig around for more reasons to smile.
In the moment
I read once that our destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things in the moment. Yes, a new way of looking at that “boss”, or that “colleague”. You know the one that wakes up every day with only one mission, to make your life hell.
I believe our smiles are stolen because far too often we are actively participating in our own life’s drama. Believe it or not, that taxi driver did not wake up with you in mind, planning specifically how to entirely f#$% up your day & steal your joy.
Giving up those precious smiles is entirely up to you & how you choose to interpret the events that unfold around you.
Or are your smiles stolen because you believe that being imperfect equates to being inadequate?
Or is it comparison, that ultimate thief of joy?
Gratitude, when did you last take a moment for gratitude? Your eyes, your breath, your body, just to get you kick-started .
Many of our smile thieves are linked to our own issues of self-worth. Loving & accepting yourself is not only the ultimate act of courage, it also unlocks those daily smiles – those that pop as you wake up each day realising that you truly are nature’s greatest miracle.
How can you not smile?
What other people think, now that is one hell of a smile thief. You wake up feeling on top of the world, you get to the office & Mary comments about the colour of your lipstick.
“Boof” enter the smile thief, your joy swiftly stolen & immediately you ask yourself “how the hell could I have risked wearing this new colour. Even worse, how could I have thought it looked so fabulous when I applied it this morning”?
If Mary had not said anything, your joy may have remained intact just a tad longer. But no, suddenly someone else’s truly irrelevant opinion takes control of YOU & your one precious life.
You see we can, at the drop of a hat, give numerous reasons why we don’t smile, expand with “gusto” on all that is wrong & all the reasons you can source to support your sad state of affairs.
Yet we find it incredibly difficult to honestly answer the question, “what makes you smile, right here, right now, today”, with the same “gusto”, with the same evidence.
Dammit people, life is short & actually frikken awesome when we look at it without all the expectations & judgement.
In closing, I invite you to go out & find some reasons to smile. They are all around (postcards from the Universe) if you would just slow down & take a look.
You don’t have forever & it will change your life.
“When all else fails, smile. It increases your face value”.