Friday, January 25, 2013

Because I Don't FEEL Like Smiling, So Shut Up

So this morning I of course got something in my inbox on How to Master the Whole Universe from someone who ultimately wants me to buy his book.  He had some good advice on how to step out of your comfort zone, who doesn't? but the last point was - SMILE!

He added, If you can smile while being uncomfortable, you can learn to be happy with discomfort.

(Parenthetically, you should not be happy with discomfort.  You should adjust your seat.)

This advice has been given by illustrious people, namely Thich Nhat Hanh, who wants you to "wear a little bud of a smile."  The only thing he has in common with the entrepreneur in my inbox is, they are both men.  Generally, men are not as nice as they should be, and are not trained to keep smiling.  Women are. But is that good?  You should think about it.

Once long long ago in a faraway land where I still had my figure I had a few meetings with one of those social workers who should have been screened out of the program, because she was critical and superior and in it to fix you; you know the type.  But she accidentally said one good thing to me.  I had a very heavy load at the time, a teenage daughter who had gone worse than wild, an alcoholic husband who was worse than I knew, had moved to a new town in redneck belt.  In the midst of expressing myself on this, I said to Mrs. DoGood, "Sometimes I get tired of smiling."

She said in a not unkind voice, "I bet you do." 

Wow.  That stopped me.  She had noticed how hard I tried to keep smiling.  It evidenced a bit of compassion, which I wasn't getting anywhere else.  It helped, though nothing could save me.  I have been reminding myself ever since that I don't have to smile. I try to be kind these days, but that is a million miles from Put on a Happy Face.

So here's what I say to womankind:  Don't keep smiling.  Keep being a person.  Be a real person.  Dance if you want to dance, scowl if you want to scowl.  Take a lesson from your cat, who doesn't give a rat's ass what you think.
Tardar, the Grumpy Cat
Women -  notice I'm not calling you Girls and I'm not calling you Ladies - you are grown up, and I bet you work hard for a living and not in lace cuffs, either - it is not your job to present a pretty face to the world.  You are a person, not a decoration.  It makes me feel like there should be a children's book titled "The Princess Who Scowled Whenever She Felt Like It."  You are welcome to the idea.  If you dedicate it to me, I won't mind.


  1. you might like this...or delete it
    llness and Self-Discovery ~ Mooji

    1. I did listen to it, and ended up posting it on my Facebook page, too. I like him. To me his message is the same message at the heart of Zen.