Once upon a time, my smile was broken. When people smile at me in passing, I struggled to pull it out in time to smile back. Often, it wouldn’t show up. My smile had abandoned me. While telling a joke, greeting friends and family, or even laughing, my smile would not cooperate. My face would contort, but get stuck. Like the Tin Man, my smile needed oiling, a massage, a vacation. It was flat and tense, a mess. I could robotically move my face, but only a grimace, or a thin, tight line would appear.
Many comedy skits, healthy choices, and positive affirmations later, my smile is back. It’s healthy, even robust at times. It peeks out often, like my personal sunrise. And I can show it to others any time. I look up, see a familiar face, smile, and say their name.
I work now to keep my smile limber. I take care to limit the amount of the sad, gritty part of the world I feed to my soul. Now, I hope and pray that my smile supports and props up other smiles. Everyone struggles at times. We all need smiles to help.