It occurred to me recently that I haven’t been smiling as much as I used to. (Part of my older gentleman’s wrinkles have for *years included the tell-tale creases of repeated beaming.) Noting this possible rumple in my attitude/behavior character traits, I add these few thoughts….
These recent years have seemed full of nonstop, smile-diminishing anxiety. But despite war rumbles, continuing political turmoil, anger addiction—and asteroids, of course—I actually am feeling more like grinning and laughing. Down deep, a bit of spiritual buoyancy seems to be lifting the rest of me past what used to hold me down. A change that also seems to suggest that it’s time for me to show those inner smiles. To live with smiles. To be known again as a Smiling Guy!
Somewhere along the line—neuroscience sneaking into professional development workshops—I learned the obvious, that a smiling attitude engenders a physical smile. But I also discovered that I can bring positive thoughts into my spirit by just the act of smiling—perhaps even when there’s no obvious reason to do so. (In one seminar about positive psychology, we were told that holding a pencil, pen, twig or [paper] straw between our teeth for awhile would improve our attitudes to the point that we’d feel all smiley inside!)
So smiling is what I’m going to do in the days to come. Even during the supposed somberness of Lenten days to come. Perhaps this will be my new Lenten discipline—giving up frowning—and a blessing for my life of faith. By these words I invite you into the same possibilities. For good reasons that all start with God’s providence and blessing, yes?
And if I happen to see you walking around with a twig in your mouth, I’ll know what’s going on….
*See one of my first blog entries, from October, 2017: https://fullofyears.org/still-smiling/
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