How much pain is behind a smile?
I meet some fabulous, sweet, genuine people, most of which appear to be "high on life". Some folks are animated and some are more serene, but a common denominator appears to be all is well and they appear to be at peace with life, faces that show a smile.
The Word "Appearance". . .really is a loaded word when you reflect on it.
Most of us are conditioned from childhood to have proper etiquette in public, which I do agree with, but because of it, I believe we learn early to wear masks. How often are we greeted or greet others and the general question is. . "Hi, how are you? With a response that follows of,
"Good, Great or Fine, Thank You" or something similiar that "all is well with life".
Realistically. . .we can't be a society of greeting each other, which turns into a speech or log of problems and concerns. Talk about misery, we really would be isolated, who would chance a meet and greet like that. . .consistently. We would AVOID each other more, greeting each other would be out of the question in this scenario. It would be to overwhelming and not to mention time consuming.
The proper etiquette spills over into our Family Dynamics and includes those we call dear friends, even with the proclaimed girl's "BFF" or the guy's "ACE", the same holds true. The familiar lines, "All is Well", "Things are Good". A few surface things are shared, after all, these titles come with an understanding of having a trusted, "close" relationship, right? and the rest is smooth sailing, keep it light, right?!
I'm not expecting to walk up to people and have a conversation and they give a journal on what is wrong with life. If you listen or read my posts, you know my nature is take the negatives and find the positives, to take a challenge head on, doing the things I can and seeking God's Wisdom for the many things I have no control over and having the Faith He will guide me along to the best direction for my Journey.
It is always a CHOICE, to find the Beauty in the Ashes, to see the Sun peeking out in the rain. To find the JOY and to make the effort to input the positive things into my mind, into my heart. There is a saying, the mouth speaks out what the heart is filled with, something like that, so that concludes that what we feed on, is sown into our heart, our mind, and that is what our mouth will naturally speak about.
What is the Point for the Blog Topic this week?
It started with the question; "How Much Pain is Behind a Smile?"
The Point is to become more Aware and to Know that their can be Pain Behind a Smile
The passing of Robin Williams recently is one of many reminders, how the pain can run deeper than the conversation, than the laughter or the smiles being shared. He is a name recognized, which allowed conversation in many circles and on most media, on the subject, but who do we know, that might surround our lives right now and we not recognize the same pain or similar pain could exist behind the smile.
I'm reminded of an acquaintance who killed herself and I actually had seen her a month prior to this horrific incident. I didn't know her personally and our paths only crossed because she was visiting and supporting a family who had recently had a death in their family. I was in attendance for the same reason. She smiled a lot that day and was hugging and supporting the family. She drew my attention because she made the effort to bring food and served what she had prepared. She smiled, she winked (as if to imply, I'm here, it will be okay) and she seemed so alert to hearing others share their grief during that time. In reflection, their were no signs of her apparent pain and her apparent struggles behind her smile. When I heard the news about what happened to her, I wondered if their was something I could have seen, could have asked. If I could have offered an open door by asking, "How are things your way?" Then to listen, to be aware of the words that may have been spoken. I knew she had lost a sibling in a car accident a year prior, so I knew enough that maybe I could have asked.
I can't change Yesterdays, but I can be alert to Today
and to the Tomorrows, along my Journey.
We Live, We Learn and We share our Experience and who knows who it might help along the way. The effort is to be more alert of what we say and what we do.
Maybe, we should all slow down, with those who are closer to us and or associated with us, to ask a genuine question (beyond etiquette), "How are things?". To ask, to listen, to let others know that we care. Many times you realize, if they share, that most challenges in life are familiar and no one holds an exemption pass, but maybe in the asking, maybe in the availability to be alert and to listen, it could be a difference maker in a situation, it could be an opportunity to let someone you know you are there.
Sometimes, a person is not looking for a solution; sometimes in "the Moment", they just need a trusted ear, a place to vent, a confidant for the moment, someone who holds no judgement and can be trusted not to broadcast their business with every person that they know.
Just a Moment. . Just a Moment, for us all to be aware that there could be in that moment,
Pain behind that smile and we all need to "Leave a Little Room".
This week's post is a reminder that so much goes on in the lives of so many. No one is exempt from the Challenges, the Valleys of living life, in walking out our journey. With every path, there will be "Highs" and we will have "Lows" along the Journey. It is called life.
We need to be a little more patient, leave a little more room for the person whose service wasn't the greatest at a dinner out or didn't get the order exactly right, to overlook the cashier who doesn't greet our arrival or wish us a good day. To not get caught up in the rage for the car that cut you off or desperately is trying to get around you in crowded traffic. We need to leave a little more room, to have a little more patience, to make a choice to not get angry or to get upset. It is a choice and who knows maybe those encounters are people on the moment of a breaking apart point, who really knows?!
With those closer to us, our family, our close friends, to leave the same room, maybe even more for the times when their actions or words is out of character, of who you know they are and have been in times past. Room to vent, room to think about their acting out may have been towards you (but 95% of time is not about you), so a little more room. A little more patience, consider for that moment that this behavior is out of character, give out the "No Offense Taken Pass". Allowing the space, allowing the room for that person to get back on track, to get back on and continue there Journey.
When I was preparing this blog earlier in the week, I had a "sciatic nerve" adventure happening. The funny part when I didn't feel it, "all seemed normal". Then I turned a certain way or walk a few steps, and a sharp pain in a place you can't rub or ibuprofen away, quickly became, a question of. . .what in the world is this?? I reflected on days when their was no physical discomfort, a normal day. A day filled with a list of "to dos" and you follow through and do what you need to get it done. Pretty simple stuff! That NERVE PAIN, those moments of discomfort to the point of not wanting to walk, allowed me to reflect, how the smallest thing in our life can change, a moment in time that can challenge your "normal" routine. Can turn your ROUTINE. . upside down.
Immediately, without warning or notice, the structure, the stage of life, is now set with a different way of doing what needs to be done, a different direction, a new way of moving, or trying to function with the underline goal of finding that known comfort and the desire to return to a normal state, the term, the song floats in your thoughts of "I used to be"?!
The adventure of this journey is what can be found in this pain, in the discomfort?; it brought a reflection ~ that which I like to call a P & R time (pause and reflect), it brought appreciation and gratitude of what I had and had easily taken for granted, getting up, sitting down, walking.
It brought a connection of those who live with this constantly and or those who have it much worse physically, with more than "time" required to function "normally".
It allowed a space to find creativity to do what needs to be done, but now with new eyes, a new perspective, a search of new doors that are wide open and requires, a quiet space to listen and to receive all that surrounds me. It all came through that moment of discomfort.
My remedy, as with most things that challenge my life, is to recognize when I'm a new player to this game, to know there is a route, a lighted direction to find my way through the challenge. In this case, physical discomfort was the challenge, so in that moment, the first step was my mind, my way of thinking, my perspective on the discomfort.
I made the decision and the thought for me was, "I don't plan to, I have no intention of camping on this site, no rubbing of wombs, no Kumbaya. This state is temporary". That really is just who I am and how I face most things. It is just how God created me. This is a moment, I take the lesson from it of being Grateful, to focus on all the things in life that I'm grateful for. Alongside this mindset, that I chose to operate from (you have to make a choice on how you decide to react, I believe in all areas of life), I also did my stretches (took action in areas that I could move in) to relieve the pressure, that I knew in time would help.
The pressure point is what set the stage for this week's blog of "I take a lot for granted" and of course I included YOU, to say "We" take a lot for granted. For anything we have access to someone, somewhere does not and that list can be endless.
If you have experienced the death of a loved one, attended a funeral or memorial service, you have a moment of reflection. You have an awareness of what is really important to this gift we call life. You reflect on the last conversations, or visits, or shared events with that loved one. All the things you said and thought about but didn't say. For some it is a thought of "I wish we I had or we had" or it could be a thought of "I'm grateful, that life was shared and celebrated".
You also weigh out those things that surround you that really don't hold the same value or level of importance as in times past.
The same is true, if you've ever went to a doctor's appointment for your routine visit. Your normal tests, now shows something that requires a closer look, now a routine visit becomes a moment, a reflected. . ummmm?! In that moment, you have to put your mind to work, your spirit and take on that everything will be fine. Pray and keep moving. The end result the tests shows nothing wrong, but during that time you again recognized the precious gift we call life.
A child, a spouse, a parent, a dear friend, faces a crisis or is hurt or facing a life challenge, you find yourself back in Gratitude during and at the end of these life challenges. You find yourself humbled and you recognize quickly how much control you really have?!
You recognize this Gift we call Life.
This blog is for a PAUSE & REFLECT, a quiet moment, to take in this Gift we have called Life. To appreciate the Glass Half Full. The power of taking on a life challenge that we don't sign up for but we decide to find the Ray of Light in those moments, asking what can we learn, what can we share, what can we add to make those moments an Asset and not a Liability in our life and or into the life of someone else. It is not what happens, it is how we react that is the power.
This would be another benefit of starting a Gratitude Journal, a daily reflection. It can be long inserts, it can be a sentence, an image, a photo, as the AUTHOR, we can decide, but this would aid and keep us in that state of appreciating this Gift we call life and you never know where this all might lead in our life or into the life of someone else.
Dedicated to parenthood
Where is it hidden?
The something special, the place of fulfillment, operating life with Purpose, that something beyond our wildest dreams, is it in our midst. . .the question. . .
Where is it Hidden? An even better question, how close are we to it?
The Challenge is to continue the Pursuit with Anticipation that it will be located, if we choose not to quit!
When we write goals, when we dream, or when we sketch on everything we own our Vision, for our Journey, I assume that it looks "Fabulous". I assume it is a place filled with laughter, with joy, a fulfillment to our Soul. A place where we operate in our Passion.
You might be someone who has a a message to share, a Cause to Organize and or Support, or just enjoy the art of socializing. In the world of "preneurship" it is the blood flow of what drives our activities and nurtures our creativity. In this arena of "preneurship" whether you are "solo" or "entre", you have so much to give, so much to share and the work, is to connect with those whose lives can benefit from what you have in your goodie bag of uniqueness. The work is to share what service or product you have to offer, what message you want to give to empower and or encourage. In some cases you are just sharing something which can be a Support to numerous others in building their vision.
The "GENUINE" heart does not want to "SELL" anyone, the drive is to "EXPOSE", to "SHARE" what they have found and all the benefits that come along with it. To allow a space, a "FREE ZONE", for others to experience what's being offered, to learn more, so a decision can be made. To decide if this offering is a "Keeper or Not", all without attached strings of obligation. The desire to share something usually comes with the Intent to be an Asset for the lifestyle of others. No One, Including Me, wants to be "SOLD". I just want to experience, if it fits, If I like it, If I have more questions ~ I will ask, If I have a use for it, then I'll buy it. If I don't personally connect with it or find it to be a necessity or even a desirable for my life, but I see the benefits, then I view it as a Resource to put in the file to share with someone I might come across who could benefit from it.
The Equation Should Look Like:
To Expose It + Experience (to try it out or sample it) = "I Buy" or "No Thanks"
If you are sharing what you have via Social Media or in the Marketplace or both;
"Be Mindful" . .that most people recognize "Opportunist" vs. "Genuinist".
Even if you are not out to share a service or product, your message, your words, reveal who you are and what you are bringing to the community around you. Are you an Asset to what you share or a Liability? Does your Language speak Positivity or is it filled with Venom served with a side dish of Negativity? Are you Relaxed or are you Tense with Anxiety which bleeds on to others when you are sharing information? Do you share solutions, options or Do you Spend time tearing down and focusing on the Negatives?
To Outline a few areas to keep in mind, as you are building your life, creating and embracing the moments, connecting with others, all while traveling along this journey:
Consider the following:
We are ALL a work in progress and I don't believe that process is ever complete, we are in pursuit of a greater version of who we can be and in a soul search of who we are purposed to be.
I believe every action, every word spoken, is a seed that we plant into the lives of someone else, be it one on one or within a group and that seed will germinate into that soil, into the lives of others in a Positive or Negative way, what we plant with our words, will grow and that reaches into that life and the generations that will follow.
We know there is an element that loves the opposite of every word that is Positive, Empowering, Encouraging, including intent of Encouragement shared in this Blog.
We don't need to spend energy on discussing them or trying to change them. WE are better served to work on the Best Version of Ourselves. When we know who you are, Confidence illuminates from us and spills out around us.
Works on making things happen, you can't build anything beneficial without expecting the company of Sideliners, Naysayers and Opinionators, so don't spend time Debating, Discussing or Persuading them to Join Your Movement. You have too much to do and Time is Priceless, so don't waste it on those who have nothing to do and or Desire Nothing or do not Want to build or strive for anything of Value for Themselves and including joining efforts with Anyone Else who does.
REMEMBER, when, we are in a Dark Room, the Light always shines through. Be the Light, Be the Change you want to see, Find your Core, Your Message, Your Unique Gifts that you can share with the world, with the Community, with your Neighbor and then Share it. What you plant will always grow, if you don't like what you see around you or in you, then make the Change and Become little by little, revision by revision, the BEST VERSION you can be.
The trail is yours and it is mine, to pave, and while we share the trip with numerous travelers, the journey is ours alone and what we invest in this life will bring us a return today and for the rest of our life. The Question is What Will that Return Be? The answer comes very "simply" from. . what we have invested.
WHERE IS IT HIDDEN? I hope together, we find ourselves a little closer to that something special, to that place beyond our wildest dreams.
Celebrating "By Choice" this Gift we call "LIFE"
Make Every Moment Count!