Share a Smile Today

Keep smiling“Remember even though the outside world might be raining, if you keep on smiling the sun will soon show its face and smile back at you.”    ~ Anna Lee

 

A week or so ago, the husband of an older woman that I work with suddenly passed away. He hadn’t been ill for very long, so I thought she might be devastated. I wasn’t really sure what to say to her. I am a widow myself, but my husband was sick for many years, so I had plenty of time to prepare mentally for his eventual passing.

I spoke to her today to express my sympathy and she replied that she had so much admiration for me because during my husband’s illness I was able to keep showing up to work. “You always managed to keep smiling,” she commented. She told me that I had been on her mind, that my ability to keep smiling had given her courage.

How and Why I Kept Smiling in Hard Times

There were very difficult days during my husband’s illness. For month after month, year after year, I was juggling work, family responsibilities, taking care of his round the clock care and financial struggles. As his illness progressed, I got less and less sleep. I was tired to the bone, and kept putting one foot in front of the other.

According to my friend, I kept smiling.

What I knew during that time was that feeling sorry for myself didn’t do any good. It didn’t change what was going on outside. It didn’t change that there were large, painful circumstances beyond my control. It didn’t change the fact that my husband was dying.

I was taught years ago to say The Serenity Prayer when I feel weak and vulnerable. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

I couldn’t change my circumstances. I couldn’t make my husband’s illness go away.

I had control over only one thing and that was my own attitude.

There was an even bigger reason that I kept smiling. I learned a long time ago that if you act as if something is true, it sometimes becomes true. If I pretended to be happy, confident and self-assured, I was a lot closer to being just that.

Smiling is Contagious

 Did you ever notice that most of the time, if you smile, other people smile back? Although this isn’t true 100% of the time, it is true quite often.

A warm smile from a loved one, a grin from an acquaintance, even the curled corners of the mouth of your dog may be just the thing you need to lift your mood.

Even if you are hurting inside, smiling at others because you know it makes them feel good is the right thing to do. Spreading misery and negative energy doesn’t make your problem go away, and it may increase the burdens of other people.

Find a reason to smile today and find someone to share a smile with.

 

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