“And Love is reflected in love…”
– Mary Baker Eddy
I’ve been wanting to share this experience, but I haven’t been sure how to go about it without looking like I am full of myself or something. So maybe I should start this post in this way: I am nothing special to look at – I am a stubby middle-aged woman, generally seen in schleppy clothes and walking shoes when I’m out running errands. I might have been called “pretty” when I was younger – but these days I look more like Cinderella’s fairy godmother than Cinderella. And I’m cool with that.
So a few months ago, on my lunch break at work, I put on my old walking shoes and ambled down into town in quest of something to eat. I don’t remember now what I was thinking about as I was walking, but it must have been something happy because I, apparently, had a smile on my face. A young man, approaching from the other direction, said he’d seen the smile on my face from a block away. He said he’d felt himself pulled to me so he could wish me a good day and let me know that my smile had put him in a good mood.
Isn’t that neat? 🙂
I thought of that experience again last week when I was grocery-shopping at the local supermarket. I was in a funk when I began my shopping. I no longer recall what had put me in this funk, but I remember feeling really tired and cranky. Coincidentally, everyone else I encountered seemed to be feeling less than jolly, too. As I rounded an aisle I saw a woman whose face looked particularly drawn and tired. My heart went out to her and I found myself summoning a smile for her. As soon as she saw my smile, she returned a dazzling one back to me. I could see the lines on her face literally lifting in front of my eyes. I felt the lines on my own face lifting, too.
I still had the smile on my face when a man turned his cart into my aisle and glanced my direction. And now HIS face turned up into a friendly grin. I decided to keep the smile on my face as I continued with my shopping – sort of conducting an informal experiment. And, sure enough, just as I had predicted would happen, every single person I encountered whilst wearing my smile, smiled back at me in a friendly, cheerful way. It was like magic.
I think people WANT to be nice to each other, you know. I think they’re looking for an opportunity to smile at other people and be kind to them – even stubby, middle-aged ladies.
But I should probably do a lot more smile experimentation to make sure my hypothesis is correct, right? 🙂
“Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.”
– Mary Baker Eddy