But first, a thought.
A smile does not mean I am happy.
It means I am present.
It means I am trying.
I am often afraid to wear my smile. I want my pain to be acknowledged. I want others to recognize that I am human, that I suffer too, that I may be having a horrible day or fighting tremendous physical pain. I am afraid that others will not see beyond the smile. I am afraid that others will not see me.
And yet...when I smile, my thoughts tend to smile with me. My mind wonders what my face is doing and figures it should play along.
I am never aiming to be fake. I do not wish to wear a smile to pretend, to force myself into a state of being that I am not.
Instead, I recognize that with that smile, I am acknowledging my true state of being - the state underneath the suffering - and thus, celebrating that being. With that smile, I share that state of being with you and invite you to recognize your own.
I acknowledge life, it's humanity, pain and suffering. I acknowledge my back pain, our financial stresses, the loss of those in Arizona, the struggles of those in Australia amidst the floods, the hunger and devastation across the world. And I smile.
Because with my smile, I begin an awareness of the peace that lies underneath. I begin a communication with myself (my mind follows suit and thus taps into my spirit), and with you.