I used to be a substitute teacher. For the most part I really enjoyed it. One thing that I learned before or while I was substituting is that smiling actually releases happy hormones that actually help you feel better. So, a lot of times I would tell the students to smile before I started the class. I understand now that that was a control issue. It really did lighten everyone’s mood though. I usually had one student who would try not to smile when I said this and smiled. They would put their head down and try to hide their face so that no one could see their smile. The natural response to a warm smile is to smile back. I would explain to the students that smiling actually helps us feel better. We would all enjoy the challenge of seeing if I could get the resistant student to smile. Even the student would enjoy the game thinking they had a stronger will than I did. In the end, the mood was lighter in the classroom and we were able to move forward with the assignments after having a good laugh.
I have been seeing so many people in public who are walking around with sad looks on their faces and seem to be depressed. The news media in the U.S. has been bombarding people with terrible things. A person can only handle so much bad news. If you are a faithful news watcher/reader in the U.S. especially, I challenge you to stop watching/reading the news for 45 days and see if your mood has naturally improved. There are two extremes: one, living in a fantasy world where nothing goes wrong, and two, being submerged in all of the tragedies around the world. Let’s try and find the middle spectrum where we can try and know what is beneficial to us. Just because it’s on t.v. or in the newspaper doesn’t mean that it needs our attention. Fear mongering has become a big thing in the U.S. and The Lord hasn’t given us a spirit of Fear, that’s from the devil.
This reminds me of a person that I know who used to never smile in his school pictures. I didn’t know why. I asked The Lord what the deal was. The Lord told me that the boy didn’t really know how to smile. He was living in a tough situation at home and didn’t really live in a joyful place or smile much at all. Then The Lord reminded me of a time when I wasn’t confident with my smile and wondered if I really knew how to smile “right”. So, I say to you, if you aren’t confident with your smile, you can practice in the mirror. The more you smile, the more natural/comfortable you look and feel doing it.
Look, I am one who has been through some crazy mouth issues, chipped teeth, caps, braces, lost a front tooth, lots of oral surgeries, fake tooth in various forms, etc. In these insecure issues that I have been through, I have learned that a smile isn’t really about vanity. It’s about communicating acceptance, joy, friendliness, love, etc. So, no matter how nice your teeth are, your true smile is important, healthy, and a blessing. People like me who have been through so much mouth trama, etc. may stop and inspect your teeth when you smile but it’s just a habit, not necessarily a critique. When I see a happy smile reach someone’s eyes I love it! I am almost a smile junky. I used to get mad when people didn’t smile back at me. I know it’s terrible and then I would get an attitude with the unsmiler and get sassy. I try to respect people more in their quest not to smile back, even when they really want to. I have learned that I don’t need to let their issues influence me in a negative way. 🙂 I don’t have to control everyone, ya know. 😀
So many people are talking about fighting for “love” while they are hitting people, throwing urine on them, flipping them off, etc. Want to fight for Love? How about start with a friendly smile instead of a fist to the face?
2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.
Luke 21:26 People will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.