Smile for Yourself

Photo by my son Arnav Doshi

I think it is ok not to smile
Especially when
Your cheeks are hurting
From all the years of being nice

I think it is important to smile
Especially when
You now finally know
How to be nice to yourself

I had made a post of similar theme in the past. I converted the short verse titled True Smile posted on Feb 2, 2018 into the image below:

Photo “Lone Kayak” by Manish Doshi

The numbness that we wear, in order to always smile
Choosing not to feel the pain, with that practiced smile
It is liberating to experience all there is, and not smile
For the true joys of life do not necessitate that we smile
One that comes from the heart and eyes is a true smile

Always grateful for your time and attention. The first image is what came fresh to me today and the verse in the second image reminds me of the cyclical nature of how these lessons and inspiration keep repeating to us in different ways. Look forward to knowing which one spoke to you better or what specifically.


90 thoughts on “Smile for Yourself

    • You add such a valuable powerful aspect to this. A forgiving smile of acceptance is a gift to oneself. I realized that I always smiled for others but had to learn it for myself. Truly appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective. Much Gratitude.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. This is such a beautiful and paradoxical post! I really love the purpose behind it and your vulnerability is palpable! A sincere smile is the heartโ€™s greatest hug, you can just feel it when itโ€™s real. I always look forward to your amazing posts!!!! Keep shining dear friend, much love ๐Ÿ–ค

    Liked by 2 people

  2. to me fake or practised smiles might be all another can offer, some feel so down they no longer make eye contact … so even a pretend one is a huge effort on their part!

    I’ll take a smile anyway it comes, but mine are genuine ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  3. We get socialized into feeling like we need to put on a smiley, happy face, even when we really donโ€™t feel like smiling.

    When I was younger I was told to smile by many people. โ€œBe a good girl and smile!โ€ โ€œYour face looks so much nicer with a smile on it.โ€ โ€œSmile! Youโ€™re too young to have any problems!โ€ โ€œDonโ€™t frown! Youโ€™ll ruin my day!โ€

    I was told to smile up until my forties! Maybe men consider me too old now to order me to smile, as itโ€™s been a few years since Iโ€™ve received any order to do so! I actually prefer it now, as Iโ€™m free to wear whatever expression on my face I now choose, and Iโ€™m not admonished like a child!

    When I smile, itโ€™s genuine, but I still catch myself from time to time putting on a fake smile. I try not to. If Iโ€™m not liking what Iโ€™m hearing from someone I prefer to have my face reflect the emotion Iโ€™m feeling, but sometimes I feel an inner pressure to conform and to pit on that smiling face. Usually itโ€™s when Iโ€™m around someone who intimidates me and I donโ€™t want to show them how Iโ€™m feeling.

    I need to practice feeling comfortable in my own skin even in those situations. I like how I feel afterwards when Iโ€™ve been authentic, braving whatever I fear they may say to me if Iโ€™m not smiling!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am absolutely honored by your honest authentic sharing here. I can relate to so many things that you gave words to so well. It is that compulsion to conform is what I am working against too. That lack of care that might be present for your own feelings or when those others just expect us to smile no matter what their demeanor. Our smile is a precious offering and simplest form of kindness to another, yet it is so important that it comes from genuine joy cultivated within or then courage working its way up through some difficult moment. It needs to be my smile, not simply fabricated for someone else’s comfort.
      Thank you very much, truly value these enriching conversations with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š itโ€™s my pleasure to respond! So many of your posts touch me deeply in an almost visceral way, and so sharing by removing the layer of pretending is very helpful to me. It helps me see the little ways Iโ€™ve changed!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Smiling is uplifting. Both as an act and to receive a smile from others. Sometimes it is enough to make your day, especially these days, living behind mask. ๐Ÿ˜Š I love that you mentioned eyes smiling. We might be able to force a smile, but our eyes reveal the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “I think it is ok not to smile
    Especially when
    Your cheeks are hurting
    From all the years of being nice”

    I love this, this is so true ..but i know that in time one who is deeply hurt would be able to smile back again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t recognize them but I ‘felt’ them And I also ‘learned’ them. I think those practised smiles did help me through some tough situations, as I found the courage to keep going with them. Yet I find it important now, to not use smiles indiscriminately unless from genuine inner sense of peace, joy and kindness to self and others. Thank you for sharing your perspective, always supports me.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Profound and inspiring post and it is so nice to be smiling and making others smile in return too. Makes our day go so well. I was hearing Sadguru he too said it is so nice to be waking up with a beautiful smile for a few minutes and your day will go so well. Smiling is so infectious and beautiful. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wise words. Occasionally we have stop and think why we smile. To be kind or when you have fun. Itโ€™s good when it is all balanced as we need both of that in this world right know. Your self reflection is the road to self discovery. Youโ€™re on the right track!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. โ€œFor the true joys of life do not necessitate that we smileโ€ this is my absolute favorite line. I think I might have related more to the poem on the top, but I also really love this line Iโ€™ve quoted the most, and the image of the people in the rowboat. Beautifully done, my friend, both the images and wording. ๐Ÿ’– Wishing you well!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It can be hard to smile at certain circumstances. Others times it is natural. Sometimes it has to be forced just to keep things civil. But a natural smile us from the inside, no effort, just pure happiness, pure live, pure warmth, like a babies smile.

    Great poems and I totally understand the emotions of having to pretend and smile, and checks hurting. It is fake, it is draining. It isn’t us. But it sometimes has to be done even though its is so fake, because it is polite. It might be we make a polite smile at a friend because we are hiding our inner pain that we don’t want to speak about. Or the polite smile is when we have to tolerate aside one who we rather not be near.

    Oh the game of life

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh the game offe ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ˜Š – yes well said.
      I love the range of perspectives you bring here and agree with the occasional need for being civil or polite with a smile. I relate to completely feeling drained in relations from not being myself and smiling through it when I could have been more truthful and caring towards myself.

      no effort, just pure happiness, pure live, pure warmth, like a babies smile – that’s the gift you so wonderfully describe. Thank you my friend for sharing your thoughts, always means a lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Absolutely true about smile to discover joy! Smile we may not when the heart isn’t into it and it’s completely fine. Pragalbha your words always make me happy and smile can be liberating, true. I smile very less but I do it naturally. Forced out never flashes.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Life is cyclical in nature, even over lifetimes. Until the lesson is learnt. since the purpose if to teach something, only the hue of the lesson alters. The second part of your verses captures this truth really profoundly. The greatness of the Universe is its untiring ability to help us to learn.
    I admire your poem. excellent

    Liked by 1 person

  12. People ask how you’re doing, but most mean it as a small talk and really don’t want to hear all that is on your heart. I’m glad society is moving in direction of mental health awareness. Putting on a fake smile to please others around us, I believe adds to the pain that’s already coursing inside.

    It’s so much better to feel that sincere smile that fills you up with light from the inside out. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚

        It’s definitely a topic I can completely relate to. I’m generally a natural bubbly individual, though I recall going through some darker times and people taken aback when I sincerely told them how I was feeling. I’d rather authentically express myself any day. Of course, I know this isn’t always easy, but it’s honest. Society as a general rule of thumb feels uncomfortable discussing true emotions.
        Though, I think we need to understand emotions are neither good or bad…that’s what I teach my students. It’s how we express and manage our feelings that counts. People need to feel safe to talk about their feelings, rather than bottle them up and repress them. If we made it more socially acceptable to be honest about our feelings, I believe we’d overall have a better sense of mental health.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I absolutely agree with you. All our emotions are valid and authenticity makes this world a better place for all involved. I am very glad and grateful that you found my work and I look forward to continued engaging with you.


  13. Both of them left me smiling in the end. ๐Ÿ™‚ They have the same fragrant essence. That it should be an expression of a happiness that wells up within, and not a duty to please others. And the accompanying photograph is beautiful too. Noticed it was clicked by you son. Another nature lover. Good going…:))

    Liked by 1 person

    • …and not a duty to please others – so well said, takes up so much energy of living. Thank you very much for thoughtfully engaging and appreciating. Yeah both my sons are tuning in to the glimpses of nature, thank you for noticing ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  14. One that comes from the heart and eyes is true smile…absolutely agree and it is only this genuineness that connects with the other person. Else the false facade of smile we put on for the world is so hollow. I love how you give such profound interpretations to a simple picture, Prgalbha.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. waw… this is beautiful one. Correct… one should smile when he knows himself and that is where smile comes directly from heart. Few keep smiling even though its not in their comfort zone and some some always give “fake smile’…

    Excellent writing… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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