The hardest part of most things we do, is starting. When you want to lose weight, or start running, or start a blog, or open up your own business, sending the first message to your crush, admitting that you're wrong, Washing your hair (especially if you have ever used relaxer) Waking up in the morning, going through your to do list, going shopping. Its the getting up to go and do those things, it's the preparing your mind for the big day. Its getting over the tiredness, depression and anxiety, pressure, nervousness. But after the beginning, everything just seems to fall into place. One of the hardest things to do is smile amidst your sadness. Smile when you are down and out, Smile when nothing seems to be going right. Because why would you smile? But there are some people who smile through it all, Smile to mask the pain and sorrow, smile to pretend like everything is okay when it isn't.
I was amongst all those people. During my days in therapy we regularly set targets. Things that i should go away and do, and then come back the next week and reflect on how it went, how it made me feel and how it helped others. It would have been easy to say, ''yes! I am going to do these things'' then decide against doing them, because starting to do new things is a difficult task. Then return to therapy next week with smiles that mask guilt and failure, and make a whole story up about how successful it was. But who would that help? Who would gain from those lies that i tell? It is easier yes.. but no progression is made. Sometimes we do things thinking we are pleasing others. But in actual fact we are only hurting ourselves.
That particular week we made two targets.
1. Who ever i encounter on the street, on the train, on my travels. Just give them a smile.
And so i did, who ever i made eye contact with on my travels to university. I smiled at them. When someones face lights up, as they are greeted with your smile, your open and honest warm embrace, can bring you a joy that sparks inside your heart. As they smile back at you they accept your invitation to share a small moment, and you never know what it does for that person. I like to believe they carried that with them the rest of the day and passed it on to others. I continued to infect peoples days over the week with a smile, which cost me nothing. I stuck to the target everyday no matter what mood i carried within myself. Sharing brightness on gloom days, despite the dark clouds that are in my way. BUT, to my surprise, before i could smile at one man in a suit, he smiled at me first. I almost didn't know what to do with myself. That wasn't part of the plan. I was supposed to be making people happy, not receiving happiness first. But what i didn't realise at the time was, that i needed that smile more than he could ever know.
Someone once told me what they like about me is my smile, and I've smiled at the thought of them ever since! I wont mention who it is, as i don't want them to get a big'ed. :)
2. When I get into university sit next to someone and strike any conversation, if that's too hard just say hello.
This one was my hardest challenges, i could almost say in my entire life thus far. Moving through university ages, i fell deeper and deeper into depression. I began to isolate myself from the outside world. I tried to communicate as little as i could, and pretend as much as i could, that everything was fine. Trying to balance the two helped me sink even deeper. So, for how easy it used to be to just say hi and make friends before, became more and more difficult. Because it just meant, another person i had to pretend to. I was studying Creative writing in London Met at the time. I sat in class everyday, alone. I arrived late on purpose everyday, so i could sit where no-one else wanted to sit, where i wouldn't be disturbed. At the end of class, i rushed out before the Lecturer could stop anyone to ask questions. I was like a shadow in my classes, going unnoticed. So you can imagine after weeks of dodging people, how hard it would be now, to sit next to them. And worse, speak to them! Like i said before, I have never had a problem with making friends, speaking to new people and just being generally friendly.. i am the most introverted extrovert. But at the time, the introverted'ness (yes, i know it is not a word) overpowered and kept me caved in.
My mum used to tell me, when i was frowning or my mouth was wide open. When the wind blows, your face will stay like that. And i believed it! It sounds silly now, but its a good reminder to make sure you stop frowning. Find a moment of bliss amongst the many moments of angst. So i would like to challenge you all who read this, to make a conscious effort to smile more. Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. Smile at others, they may need you to brighten up their day! And hopefully when you receive one back, it will make yours!
I have left you with some of my favourite quotes below, accompanied by some of my great memories that were captured in a smile.
''Use your smile to change the world, don't let the world change your smile.''
''A smile is the shortest distance between two people''
''A smile is a curve that sets everything straight''
''Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.''
''If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love''
''Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.''
''A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.''
''You wanna know who is amazing & has the cutest smile ever? Read the first word again.''
''Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine they see all day.''
''Never regret something, that once made you smile.''
Let me know if you at least smiled once through this post. Smiles are normally contagious. So i hope i passed it on to you! Comment below..