Keeping Your Smile

The gentle act of a smile can remind and become a touchstone for us that goodness, peace and joy are nor only possible but near.

Living in Chronic Pain can lead us down dark paths full of confusion, loss of meaning, purpose and hope, and we must strive to find such reminders, lights, to help us find our way, keep our sanity and our hearts, while we face and learn to live with pain.

The practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness has been found to be one of the surest of beacons for those who live in Chronic Pain.

Here, Thich Nhat Hahn, a Zen Buddhist Monk, does a beautiful job of explaining how the simple, gentle act of smiling can…

 help us find solace and rest, know hope, in the moment, and too, bring that same solace and peace to others.

“If in our daily lives we can smile…

not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile?

Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.

* How can you remember to smile when you wake up? You might hang a reminder–such as a branch, a leaf, a painting, or some inspiring words–in your window or from the ceiling above your bed, so that you notice it when you wake up.

Once you develop the practice of smiling, you may not need a reminder. You will smile as soon as you hear a bird singing or see the sunlight streaming through the window.

Smiling helps you approach the day with gentleness and understanding…And this precious gift costs nothing.

At the end of a retreat in California, a friend wrote this poem:

‘I have lost my smile, but don’t worry.

The dandelion has it.’

If you have lost your smile and yet are still capable of seeing that a dandelion is keeping it for you, the situation is not too bad. You still have enough mindfulness to see that the smile is there. You only need to breathe consciously one or two times and you will recover your smile. The dandelion is one member of your community of friends. It is there, quite faithful, keeping your smile for you. In fact, everything around you is keeping your smile for you.”

~ Thich Nhat Hahn in Peace is Every Step

So, go ahead and smile, even a little one will do. And if you can’t find it just remember, the dandelion has it; it’s there; it’s all around, just waiting patiently for us, body, mind, and soul.

Author: ChronicPainDailyReflections

I manage a web-site, Chronic Pain Daily, created for and in support of those living in chronic pain. The site helps with the day-to-day spiritual, mental, emotional and physical needs of those with constant pain, whatever its source.