Friday, June 10, 2011

The Power of a Smile

I was in a really foul mood yesterday. Well, Elijah was grumpy, which was the main reason for my sourness. His self-injurious behavior has ramped up again recently, which is really hard on me. That's probably an obvious statement, but sometimes it isn't so obvious to me. I'll start feeling down, oblivious to the reason, until I finally realize it's because Eli is having a hard time dealing with his frustrations. To let out his feelings, he bites his hand. This behavior had almost completely disappeared until the last few weeks, thus my feelings of despair (and if I'm honest, one of the reasons I don't blog as much. When I'm sad it's hard to write). When he hurts himself, I kind of feel like someone is repeatedly punching me in the face (well, emotionally anyway). Yeah, it's not exactly a pleasant experience. No wonder I was feeling grumpy.

So after a rough morning, Elijah and I headed to the grocery store, which is something I actually enjoy doing with my boy (I generally despise grocery shopping). But, despite a fun trip to the store, I could still feel my mood permeating about me, emphasized by the fact that our cashier didn't even say hi to me when I happily greeted her. Perhaps she didn't hear me, I reminded myself (benefit of the doubt, people).

After I loaded up the groceries in the van, and I drove through the parking lot, a woman came out of a store and approached the crosswalk I was about to pass. She walked by my vehicle and flashed me a huge grin. I smiled back.

And you know what? That smile literally changed my mood for the rest of the day. The hopelessness and despair I'd been feeling from my rough morning melted away. It was just what I'd needed; it was like a little message from above. It's okay, Lisa. You are loved.

Yes, sometimes Elijah has a hard time constructively expressing his anger. But he's always ready with a dimple-faced smile. It is nearly impossible not to smile when he's beaming in your general direction. I often smile at strangers too, the corners of my mouth tilting up just a bit when I pass by (okay, maybe I technically smirk at people. I hope I don't freak anyone out).

You just never know how powerful a smile can really be.

Thanks, lady I don't know. I really, really needed to see your teeth yesterday. Seriously, you have no idea.


Tom R said...

A smile is sometimes worth a thousand words. If we all smiled a lot more who knows how many people we would positively affect.

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