Sometimes It’s Hard To Smile…

Smiling has never been something that I found difficult.  However, none of the challenging  moments of my life could have prepared me for the last year; when my smile wanted to run and hide, just like the rest of me.  In my lifetime, my smile was something that I could always count on, through sunshine and rain, it was almost always there.  Even if my smile had faded, the smiles of others would re-ignite its presence.

But not now.  How could that be?  How could my smile have faded away?  The answer was and is still painful.  Having been so proud to have accomplished so much, despite enormous obstacles in my way; I had failed to care for myself in the basic ways many of us do.  I smiled through the pain, until I just couldn’t smile anymore. The pain simply overshadowed it. The smile lines alongside my eyes, were now veiled in the darkness of my angst.  Those eyes that once sparkled, became hollow, and often wet in desperation.

My smile was still there, but it had become buried under the heavy burden I carried.  The sunshine just didn’t feel as warm, and the rain I once loved, now stung me like bee. How would I find my way back to my smile?  The authentic, effortless smile that offered me the insight I had always trusted.

That was six months ago.  Some of the darkest days of my entire life.  I thought my smile was gone for good.  It was then, in those overcast days, that I prayed and prayed.  I asked God to take away my pain, or to simply take me.  He did neither.  I prayed again, asking God to show me the way.  If this was my new reality, not feeling the sunshine on my face, not feeling the smile in my heart, feeling only pain; then how could I live my “new” life this way? 

What a sorrowful time that was. I know that each one of us must walk through those dark days, when it seems that nothing could possibly make things right again.  I have traveled down some very new paths in the last six months, into places I never knew existed.  Taking that step off of the only path I ever knew was terrifying; but had I not, my smile would still be gone.  Smiling through the pain is not easy.  Sometimes it is more painful than you could ever imagine.  I want you to know that your pain is real, but that it doesn’t have to steal your smile.  I am choosing to be happy ahead of time, regardless of the pain.  Will you join me on this new path?