Monday, May 25, 2015

Gratitude challenge week 23...

This week's prompt: my favorite physical trait.

Now........I hate these. The ones where I have to talk about things I like about myself. I love talking about traits I love on other people. I could point out a thousand of those. But on me?

Ick. I hate that.

However, a challenge is a challenge, so I must press on.

My favorite physical trait?



My smile.



It's a little bit Tom Cruise-ish (with off center teeth, etc) and a little bit hysterical or manic at times...well, okay, most of the time. And sometimes I smile so hard I look a bit psychotic or maybe even homicidal. However, I do like my smile. Just not for superficial reasons.



I like my smile because it represents my unwavering ability to press on.



I've seen sadness and darkness. I've seen anger and loss. I've seen heartache and disappointment. I've seen rejection and cruelty. And  I've had the ugly experience of losing a child, which hollows one out like a Jack-o-lantern and chars the soul til it's black and crispy. In my lifetime I've watched alcoholism and drug addiction ruin families. I've seen mental illness split apart marriages and fracture families. I've seen anger turn to bitterness and then slowly morph into decades of frostiness that is tangible to everyone who witnesses it. I've seen aging parents and unexpected deaths. I've seen scary diagnosis's and life reboots a'plenty. I've seen divorce and anguish and tug-of-wars over children that never needed to happen. I've seen a lot. I haven't seen it all, per say, but I've seen enough.



In all reality, I should be a permanent frowner. I would have every right to be. This is fact.

And yet.....



I keep smiling. Always smiling. And here's why:



Because I never know who needs my smile to keep THEM going. I may never know. Maybe it's the cranky dude at the market. Maybe it's the little kid who didn't want to get on the bus to Hogwan this afternoon. Who knows. All I know is, there may be a time when someone needs a smile, and who am I to refuse to give it to them. Smiles are free. Smiles are good for one's health. I may as well share them, eh?

Plus, some people have smiled at me when I really wanted to give up. I remember being greeted with a smile at church a few days after we lost our daughter, and feeling like maybe, JUST MAYBE the world wasn't the festering cess pool I'd written it off to be. It gave me hope. All from a little smile! That's pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

And so I do as the aforementioned meme suggests...I try to scatter joy. Some days are better than others. Some days I fail. Some days I succeed.

But I always smile. (Even when there are tears in my eyes.)



So that's my favorite physical trait. My smile.

What's yours?

xxoo
Brooke

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