The High Price We Pay For Fake Smiles

“Whatever you’re going through, there’s no rule that says you have to do it with a brave smile all the damn time. You’re a person, not a freaking hospitality lounge. You don’t have to make everyone comfortable. Just be your real imperfect self.”

~Nanea Hoffman

We often say “be yourself”, but the truth is, it is not easy to be around an authentic person as we might like to think…. Do we really want to be around people who are themselves?

The most brave people don’t fake a smile; they behave authentically. Smiling is not always brave. Sometimes we do it to it because we’re afraid of being rejected and all alone, so we put on a mask of strength and happiness for the world. I know. I still do it sometimes, but not like I did in the past. I have done it so much that I forgot who I am. My journey is about letting go of my mask and embracing my true self and accepting that this authentically might mean I don’t have more than a few friends. Hey, that’s OK. Better than self-betrayal. Real happiness for me is contingent on how true I am to myself — not how others define me.

“If you need someone with you in order to feel good, you will have to manipulate that person to be with you. Such manipulation is quite common. If, for example, you smile at someone not because you are happy or because you bless them but because you want them to think of you favorably, you are manipulating. It’s the same with any gift, such as kindness, together-time, and affection. In order for these gifts to be true gifts of love, we need to give them away with no expectation of getting something back. In other words, we need to be okay to end up in solitude.” ~ Akemi G.( from the book “Why We Are Born” p. 86)

l have seen reports saying that  forced-smiling cures cancer, but that doesn’t make sense to me. While I am not a medical doctor, it’s illogical to assume living in a state of self-resistance could ever be healthy for the mind, spirit or body. However, logic tells me that when we are behaving  in alignment with who we really are, our chances of getting sick or sicker might be reduced. The reason why is because resistance is stress on the body. There is no energy loss from being genuine, however. Why do you think it is so stressful for so many of us to be around people? How tired we become around people might be linked to how heavy a mask we are wearing. We might come home exhausted and drained or might decide to spend more time alone; this is especially the case for us introverts. Wearing a mask might use up too much energy when the body really needs the energy for more important things related to our health. The body cannot pay as much attention to health when it’s using energy to suppress ourselves.

Everyday we have the choice to either go to war with ourselves and betray who we are or to accept who we really are and let it shine in all it’s glory be it with a TRUE smile or a resting bitch face or… even a frown. whatever it is… If  you are truly a positive person, you will find beauty in all parts of self — even if that means others won’t like you. We often speak of self-love these days. Well, THIS IS self-love. And love is UNconditional. And boy, it takes A LOT  of courage to not just say you love yourself, but to express it through action. Don’t let others define you; that’s YOUR job and what true strength entails.

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