Sometimes, I catch myself feeling really contented or even joyful. And I realise I’m not smiling and this compounds my happiness.
Like so many people, especially women, I was raised to smile even when I was raging inside. When I was having therapy as a trainee counsellor, my therapist often commented on my propensity to smile or laugh as I recounted something that wasn’t a smiling or laughing matter.
And I remember visiting other parts of the world, especially in my 20s, and seeing unsmiling women and thinking, obviously, I had no idea about their inner experience but it appeared to be freer in some ways.
Faces just expressing whatever they wanted to express rather than the forced ‘women laughing eating salad’ smile that beams out from so many magazines and adverts.
I feel triumphant when I allow my face to do whatever my face wants to do. Even so, I smile a lot (I cry a fair bit, too).
To celebrate today being World Smile Day, you might want to ponder, when can’t you HELP smiling? When are you most likely to grin from ear to ear? To beam at the world?
And when are you faking it? When might it behove you to pause and check in with how you’re actually feeling rather than arranging your face into a pleasing countenance for the alleged benefit of others?
Feel free to comment below.