Smiles Are Contagious

So the sun must have heard me complaining this morning about it being MIA, so it came out just for me! It must have known how desperately I needed it to make me happy today. How nice of you Mr. Sun. 😀

As I was walking, it was streaming joy to my soul and creativity began to flow through me. I honestly couldn’t hold a negative thought the whole hour. As a side effect of my joy, I began to smile. Sometimes that happens to me where my level of joy is so high that I wear a smile all day long.

What I noticed about my smiling today, is that it is contagious. Sometimes I walk by people wearing my pleasant smile and others smile back, but more often than not, I noticed that when I wear my smile, many people don’t like it at all.

This got me thinking about why this is true and I came up with a whole theory on it. Here is what I came up with…

Smiles are contagious and that is why some people catch them easily, but others who do not catch them, subconsciously know that they are contagious and avoid looking at you or smiling back because they have come down with a case of self-loathing and do not want to catch your joy.

Self-loathing is also contagious. If you spend enough time with people who hate their lives and do not want to feel loved or be happy, then you run the risk of catching it. Self-loathing can range from mild to serious. Mild self-loathing, is easily cured, by simply a shift in your perception and a realization that things are not really as bad as they seem or you are making them out to be. It is a matter of taking responsibility for where your mind has been and choosing to go with a more positive outlook.

Moderate self-loathing is a bit more serious. The person with moderate self-loathing usually can’t help themselves out of their negativity, but can often be cured by others happiness, such as laughter, a smile or an inspirational thought. A person with moderate self-loathing still wants to be happy deep down, but just needs a reason to, as they have momentarily forgotten the beauty and joy that is all around them.

Then there is serious self-loathing, which can last many years or even a lifetime for some unfortunate people. These people have made a serious decision to be unhappy. They never take the time to laugh or smile. They do not surround themselves with people who are happy or want to enjoy life. These are the ones who actually resent the fact that other people in the world are living joyfully and refuse to smile back at you no matter how intensely you may be grinning at them.

Self-loathing is usually caused by hurt or lack of love sometime during a person’s life, often stemming from their childhood. While they may have once felt joy and believed in love, something happened to them, which made them feel that they were not worthy to have that joy and love that they experienced.  Then they made an unfortunate decision to no longer smile and put up a defensive wall against all smiling people, as to not let any love or joy in.

How do I know this you ask? I have had both cases and even nowadays I will catch a mild case. Luckily, I have come up with a formula for how self-loathing gets caught. In my life, I have noticed that it goes like this: Eat crap, watch crap, talk crap, read crap, think crap, hear crap  = feel like crap. So if ever I find myself without a smile, dwelling on all that is imperfect in life, I look to any one of those things and usually I find the cure.

If I have not been eating properly or I have been reading or watching things that are completely mindless, I slowly, but surely will come down with self-loathing. If I have been listening to people talk about other people or have been talking negatively about myself or others I also catch it.

To keep my positivity and joy, I make sure that I remember to be mindful of what I eat, say, think and do. I keep quotes around my house to inspire me and read inspiring, uplifting things. I make sure to surround myself with energy givers instead of energy drainers. I get outside as often as I can. I make time to have fun with my family and friends and I take time to fill up on self-love, so that I can love others.

However, sometimes I find myself in a situation where I can not escape the presence of someone with a highly contagious case of self-loathing. The person’s negative energy seems to be rapidly chipping away at my positivity and I can feel my smile melting away. In these situations, I do my best to think of these words of wisdom by Mother Teresa:

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end,
it is between you and your soul
It was never between you and them anyway.

Smiles are contagious. Don’t be afraid to share them and catch them, but also be mindful of how you are living your life or you just might come down with a case of self-loathing. 😉

One thought on “Smiles Are Contagious

  1. Pingback: Back On Track « Live. Learn. Love. Eat.

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