The dance of the infectious smile is real. You want to smile, you’re curious, you want to know more, you fight the urge not to smile, and your skin tingles of calming sensation. When you don’t want to smile, one smile can change everything. It can keep you holding on just a little longer. All around us there is sadness, hurt, blame, hate, and brokenness. The smile is lost in so many. And then there is a bright shiny smile that appears and gives hope for all things again.
The curve of the mouth raising towards the sun rays, are like kisses from angels, reminding ourselves to smile. I used to be broken. Sad, frustrated, unsure, and struggling with who I was. Inside it was raining, and I never thought the sun would shine again. Ten years ago, I was fighting a multiple tumor covered ovary, the last female organ left inside my body. I would cry in my closet, because I could not button my pants. Broken because I felt as though I was being punished, I hid every emotion – pain, tears, love, sadness, happiness.
Health had taken away so many dreams. All i knew was hard work. And that is what I did. I worked more, harder, longer. I felt alone. My saving grace, those people that shared their smile with me. There were friends, dance students, strangers on the street, and family. They were all angels and they probably never knew, as it took me years to recognize it.
Recently, my mom asked, “Do you do anything but laugh and smile?” And the answer, “no.” I have had countless surgeries, and incredibly deep scars, but I am no different than anyone else out there. We all have scars and pain. There is no one who does not experience struggle. There will always be rain, and there will always be sun. There is a dance, and sometimes it feels we are stranded in a flood and there is nowhere to turn. Don’t let the dark blind you, because when you are through the thunder, the blooms will sprout, and somehow, someway it will all make sense.
To the days that are hard to breathe, there is an angel ready to deliver a smile, a glimpse of hope. Sometimes those smiles turn into treasured friends, moments, or love. Angels in the forms of smiles are magical.
The smiles get to me. The genuine smile of the children of the Yucatán, the heart warming smile where you can feel someone’s soul, that contagious laughter smile, and the soft smile that speaks, “it’s okay.”
For me, smiling works. I recognize the hesitant smile I receive back, or the desire for a good belly laugh. And most importantly I understand what smiling from my heart means for me. Countless traumas are part of my story. Cancer, scars, abuse – it’s all there, and for a while, I did not let my smile pump through my veins. That struggle brought gratitude, and the gift of life each day.
A lot can happen in ten years. Today, I am healthier, vibrant, full of life, and about to turn 35. But this isn’t about me. It’s about each of us. We are beautiful the way we are, all of us. Angel smiles change us. They can lead us to where we are going, and when we choose to return those smile, we become angels to those we may not ever know.
The world needs more smiles, more embraces of happiness. Do more of what makes you happy. Surround yourself with those who bring soul-quenching thirsty smiles to your face. Lead with a smile in life, it keeps one foot in front of the other, and when you need a smile, just look up, there will be one waiting.
Smiles are a gift. Don’t be stingy, give more and you will receive more.