I don’t know who needs to hear this, but…

Do the thing that makes you smile.

Not that polite smile you’ve been carting around for those sidewalk encounters or for that one Zoom meeting where you must show your face for the first five.

Not that smile.

Not that smile you draw on after finishing up that fresh-eye look, with concealer below and alls-right-in-the-world perky brows above.

Not that smile.

Not the one you’re rehearsing for the awkward conversation you need to have. Won’t a relaxed face make it all better?

Not that smile.

And not the smile that precedes a rush of tears, the flood you’ve been holding back for years finally forced out by the weight of pretending.

Not that smile.

So what smile is it? Well, it’s hard to actually describe.

It may be that you haven’t worn it for two decades, that you no longer know how it feels, the way it slips in when your shoulders are down. When’s the last time your shoulders were down?

This smile is confident without flattery. It’s bold without bravado. It’s gentle. It’s comforting and strong. It’s contagious even when it’s quiet. It’s yours, not a copycat pucker.

When it appears your heart is light.

If it had a color, it’d be the color of calm. What color did you see when you read the word “calm”? That’s the smile you’ll wear, the smile the rest of the world will see when you do the thing…the thing that’s life-giving for you even when it drains. For you. Yes, it’ll bless your children and the random walker in the park but its first wonderfilled captive will be you.

Arms stretched out to your right and to your left, fingers long.
Shoulders back, head lifting toward heaven, back strong.
Eyes forward, legs straight, feet rooted, knees soft.

Lift.
Dance.

There isn’t enough time for anything else.

2 Replies to “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but…”

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