Strength In Smiles

This evening I’m steeped in fatigue and rocking a migraine, but still felt this burning need to write.

Earlier today I was paid one of the nicest compliments.  This older gentleman at church walked up to me and said, “You know, I really enjoy when I’m participating in the service because while I’m sitting up front I get to see you smile.  I just wanted you to know that you have the prettiest smile that just lights up a room and brings joy to everyone who sees it.  Thanks.  You made my day.”

The truth is, I’m always smiling.  It’s a big part of who I am.  It’s how I share my passion for life with the world (well, besides the writing and the singing), and it’s one of the ways I try to contribute to making the world a better place.  My mom and sister are the same way.

Somehow I think my mom, who was a devout Catholic in her youth, probably took her lesson about smiling from Mother Teresa who said:

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

Personally, it was George Bernard Shaw who resonated with me with his quote:

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”

This implies that everything is a choice, most especially your outlook on the world.  And I truly believe that.  It’s not always easy to find something to smile about or to be grateful for, especially if you’re reflecting inward.  But often, if you’re shifting your vision outward to the rest of the world, there’s always something.

The thing about smiles is that most of the time they can give you the greatest joy…and they’re contageous.  But there’s a different kind of smile, too.  Have you ever seen a smile and wished you could look away because it broke your heart?  All you saw when you looked into that face was bravery and pain? A person tenaciously holding on to this strong, hidden inner core, but in their eyes was everything that let you know everything was NOT alright?

Today I saw that, too.  A couple from church had lost their son, but they came to be with their church family and gain comfort.  They smiled, but boy was there heartache in that smile.  I felt it in my soul.

I admire and respect that kind of pure stubbornness and iron will that allows a person to smile through their own heartache and pain.  The thing is, these people don’t have to say a word…you still get a strong sense of their grief. So for all those who are heartbroken and struggling to hold on to their smiles…here are a few songs for you to remind you that your smile matters to someone… And to hang on.



19 thoughts on “Strength In Smiles

  1. yepirategunn says:

    Well…you certainly pulled the emotions out of me there! Me, with the heart of granite, grinning with the first few paragraphs of your post, then that heavy empathy – yes, the utter absurd tragedy, that smile that shows so much, that says so much more than the tears streaming down cheeks. A galling little story there. Searing. But one must read art, and I am compelled to do so: a simple post, about the smile, that says so much.


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Thank you so much…both for reading and the kind words. I’d initially tried to put my feelings into poem, but it just didn’t seem to bring forth the emotions I was looking for. The words screamed to be released this way instead.


  2. Mae Clair says:

    What a wonderful compliment that man paid you. A smile certainly goes a long way and is capable of changing someone else’s mood. I should do it more often. As Emma said, there is always something to be grateful for.


  3. Sara says:

    What a good reminder for all of us. And you are certainly right about your mom, I definitely remember her with an infectious smile on her face any time I saw her. 🙂


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Thanks, Sara! Actually, I remember back in the day she came home so offended. Apparently she’d heard someone gossiping about her at work, claiming she must be “on something”. Apparently she thought that it was unnatural for a person to have a sunny disposition. 🙂


  4. radaronelson says:

    You are right everything you do or say is a choice, you chose to be happy or sad. There are exceptions of course, like suffering from clinical issues like depression or bi-polar or deaths in the family etc but all in all day to day it’s all a choice.


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