17 May 2022

Keep smiling stresses Offaly influencer


Ronan Scully of Self Help Africa

It has been said that a smile is the lighting system of the face, the cooling system of the head and the heating system of the heart. But a smile is also a powerful weapon against toxic attitudes of all kinds.

A line from one of my favourite songs which was made famous by Louis Armstrong says: "When you're smiling, when you're smiling the whole world smiles with you." Think about that for a moment after you have stopped singing it in your mind and then think about the people in your life you know who have a lot of love in their lives, and recall whether they smile a lot and then try to be one of them.

No financial crash, coronavirus, war or adversity can devalue the power of a smile, and it might be just the stimulus package you or a loved one or a friend needs. You see we are all people in need of help and support a lot of the time on this journey through life. We are not perfect and far from it at times especially if you're anything like me. We all make mistakes. We are only human. We all need grace. We all need compassion. We all need mercy and forgiveness. We all need love and acceptance. We all need help and support at times. We all need other people. And you know that's okay for that is what it is to be human.

Not every day will be good, but there will be something good about and in every day. Notice it if you can. Ignore the negativity around you. None of us know the exact road we will travel or the trials that will come our way. The secret is to find joy and love in the journey. The more obstacles you overcome, the stronger you will become. Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, you just get stronger, more experienced and more resilient. Smiling and appreciating each step you take on this journey of life is the best choice. Your positive attitude to life will help you realize that sometimes the bad things that happen in your life put you on a direct path to the best possible things that could ever happen to you. So please smile more if you can.

You'd be surprised at how much faster it is to make love happen in your life when you make a habit of this simple physical process of smiling. For a variety of reasons, smiling makes you happier and more open and gives you the appearance of being approachable, touchable, and lovable, the very qualities you are looking to develop in order to lead a loving and caring life. For me, one of the ways I sense spirituality and compassion in other people is by smiling. Smiles spell love, compassion, generosity, kindness, warmth, reliability, patience and real-love. ‘God’s love’ is not just romantic love, it’s much more than that, it is a never-ending series of positive, creative, affirming, challenging, forgiving, healing and protecting feelings and actions whose purposes are to promote our sense of well-being for ourselves and others and help us to be aware of how God feels lovingly and warmly towards us. A smile is a part of that purpose and is a powerful means of communication. It is made up, not only of parted lips, but also of eyes, which sparkle or weep, eyes, which are full of tenderness, acceptance, humour, forgiveness, love and compassion.

The Light of a Smile

When you smile, not only do you feel happy, but you also bring a ray of light into the lives of others. Someone once said, "A smile is a curve that sets everything straight, by increasing your face value." Know that a smile is a little thing that can produce great results. All it takes is a smile to make short work of many difficulties, for just being happy helps others along. I've often thought of a smile as the touch of God given to His people. A day without a smile is a day wasted. Some people grin and bear it, while others smile and change the world. Don't you love the feelings of a returned smile? It can penetrate the soul and release good into the world. It can make friends of strangers. It can bring friends closer together.

It can bridge the generation gap. It can fill the heart with love. A smile is a light in the window of the soul, indicating that the heart is at home. God put a smile on our faces so that we would see that the world needs that aura to lighten the darkness of iniquity and inequality that we live in today. A smile is nature's best antidote for discouragement. It brings rest to the weary, sunshine to those who are sad, and hope to those who are hopeless and defeated. A smile is so valuable that it can't be bought, begged, borrowed, or taken away against your will. You have to be willing to give a smile away before it can do anyone else any good.

So if someone is too tired or grumpy to flash you a smile, let them have one of yours anyway. Nobody needs a smile as much as the person who has none to give. There is a saying that goes, ‘A smile costs nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who receive it, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it lasts forever. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to those who are discouraged, sunshine to the sad and it is nature’s best antidote for trouble, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as no one needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.’ It is often said and I agree that smiling is infectious, you catch it like the ‘flu, when someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too. I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin. When he smiled, I realised I’d passed it on to him. I thought about that smile then I realised its worth. A single smile, just like mine, could travel around the earth. So, if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected.

Let’s start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected. And here is a poem I like that helps me keep smiling by Alexandra Skiathitis and I hope might help you at times also and it goes as follows, "If at times you feel you want to cry and life seems such a trial. Above the clouds there's a bright blue sky, so make your tears a smile. As you travel on life's way, with its many ups and downs, remember it's quite true to say, "One smile is worth a dozen frowns." Among the world's expensive things a smile is very cheap and when you give a smile away, you get one back to keep. Happiness comes at times to all, but sadness comes unbidden and sometimes a few tears must fall among the laughter hidden. So when friends have sadness on their face and troubles around them piled up, the world will seem a better place and all because you smiled."

Thought  for the  week

As your  thought  for the  week, see what your  smile  does for you. You might find that you should  smile  more often and that the power of a  smile  will work wonders for you and for others. As Woody Allen said, "Life is full of miserableness, loneliness, unhappiness, and suffering. And it's all over much too quickly." So let a  smile  be your protection from the despair of life. As you go  through your day, remember to smile. Your smile is a message to everyone you meet that you know the joy of living. Sadly, so many people simply forget to smile as they worry too much about what is going to happen tomorrow.

Here are 26 Tips for a Life of Good Cheer - "Ask for what you want.  Be who you say you are.  Care about others.  Dare to live your dreams.  Ease through the day.  Find the best fit.  Give to another.  Hug a friend.  Inspire someone to greatness.  Jump over a boundary.  Kick a bad habit.  Leap across a fear with faith.  Mention something uplifting.  Never say never.  Open your mind, heart and soul to God.  Pursue your innermost prayers and passions.  Quit complaining.  Restore your smile.  Set your sights high.  Trust yourself and God.  Use all the day.  Value everything.  Wait until it feels right.  Xpress yourself.  Yank weeds from your mental garden.  Zoom into the now."  And always  remember the five simple rules to live a cheerful life are as follows: "1. Free your heart from hatred.  2. Free your mind from worries.  3. Live simply.  4. Give more.  5.  Expect less." As Mother Teresa said, "We shall never know all the good that a simple  smile  can do!" Therefore I chose to  smile and live a life of cheer and spread joy all around. And I bet you will find that "the whole world smiles with you!"

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