Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Don't Smile

Today I am carrying out the unenviable task of going through every single photo that I own and deciding which ones I want to keep and which ones I will throw out. It feels very good to do this. I've written about de-cluttering your life before, but I'll just say it feels good to throw things out that you don't need.

As I've been going through these photos, I am noticing how great of a smile I have (humble, ain't I?)  What I mean is that I'm going through photos as far back as when I was 5 or 6, and I'm noticing that I'm always smiling. And that's natural isn't it? When we have a camera in front of our face, that's our natural reaction (unless you don't like your picture taken.)

I have had many reasons to not smile over the course of my 33-year-old life so far. Without going into details since my family members are still alive, I lived through a challenging childhood, to put it mildly.  But there I am in my pictures, smiling away.  And then serious mental illness set in, and life became what I call "a blur." Most events from the last decade are indecipherable from each other, even though significant events took place. There I was with a smile on my face, but terribly unhappy. It is painful but also kind of healing to go through my pictures. There are pictures of family, friends, former girlfriends (those are the ones that tend to hurt the most.)

The title of this short post is "Don't Smile."  I just challenge you to find a way to feel your emotions, especially if they are negative emotions or unhappy ones.  Find a way not to bury them. Hopefully you have someone(s) in your life that you can be real with, and can yell and kick and scream and swear with. My final point is that if you know of a child who is the recipient of neglect or abuse, intervene. Even if it's none of your business. It is all of our "businesses" when a child starts out life that way.

Be real.

You don't have to smile.

It's ok.