Laughter is the best way.

I laugh and smile easily, even in difficult times. Sometimes people think I am always happy, fake it, or do not deal with issues, yet that is far from the truth.

Why do I smile? I smile because I choose joy daily as my source of strength. My smile comes from very deep and is very broad. My laugh comes from the depths of my soul. My eyes join with every smile and laugh. My heart beats stronger with every smile and laugh. I literally feel lifted whenever I laugh or smile. It never matters how painful the circumstances are, you can always find a laugh or a smile within me.

Smiles and laughter do not mean I never experience or cause pain. It just means I have found my way to deal with life in every circumstance. I find that no matter how hard the situation there is always something to be joyful and grateful about. Do not get me wrong…there is pain but there are also ways to deal with pain that do not include a consistently long face.

It took me a long time to understand how important smiling and laughter are for my sanity. A few years ago, after a long stressful period, I reconnected with an old friend who mentioned that I have a beautiful smile but didn’t show it often enough. Due to the state of my life and emotions at the time, I laughed and didn’t believe him immediately.

It did not matter that the world could see the beauty radiating from me, as long as I could not see it, it remained something I didn’t understand or fully explored. At that moment, I was so caught up in surviving that I had forgotten how to smile and laugh fully. It was as if some of me had died along the way and I could not recover it. I did not believe him and he challenged me to look at myself in the mirror and smile…really smile then tell him what I found.

When you lose something valuable or important, it is easy to get caught up in the sense of loss and be unable to recover it. I had lost my joy in life because my heart had broken repeatedly. In some instances, it was others who broke it and in others, it was my own doing. I did not see my handprint at first but in time, after deep reflection, I saw it and could not blame others.

It was hard and at the start my smiles were fake but over time they became bigger and more beautiful. sometimes I would take calls with people who make me laugh as I stood in front of the mirror to see my smile and how my eyes twinkle. Boy oh boy, wasn’t it surprising how big and beautiful. I remember writing a piece about that if you are looking for a ladylike, soft laugh then I am the wrong candidate because I have a very deep and loud laugh from the depths of my belly and express it freely with my head thrown back.

Nothing reflects the state of one’s heart better than a smile and laughter. 

Today, many people hide behind fake smiles and laughter, but you can pick it out with a trained eye and ear. Why do we hide behind fakeness? There are many reasons like hidden pain, trauma, disappointment, sadness, and uncertainty, to name a few. Is it always easy to smile and laugh? Not at first but when you understand that the source of the smile is inner peace and joy, you can tap into that no matter what. 

So when you see me smile and you know the pain in my life, do not think I am faking it. I am dealing with everything in a way that works for me.

image of a dock in the water with the words, "I am dealing with everything in a way that works for me...not you."

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