my-buddies-and-the-twinsI’m the 2nd one from the left

Recently, my husband told me that he loves my smile and yet it looks as if I am always fighting against it, smiling that is. After trying to decide if that was a compliment or a creatively disguised dig, I decided to give him a pass and to really contemplate his words.

From as far back as I can remember, I think I have fought happiness. Just looking  back at the old black and white photos I have of myself as a kid,  I do tend to find more with a silly, half grin than a full on smile. And it makes me sad. Because I don’t think I ever allowed myself to fully experience joy from a very early age.

Lately, I have been on a quest to go back and get that kid and bring her home to the place that she belongs. With all of her disappointments and insecurities, I am not sure if I really want to. And yet I don’t think I have a choice nor can I ever really live in “me” until I do. Inviting this younger version of myself back into my life to really dig deep and explore some of the things I never have about myself is about as comfortable as inviting that obstinate step child who doesn’t want to be anywhere, least of all anywhere near you, to live with you!

As I look inside of myself, back, back, back, into a time in my life where there was joy and harmony, I find a kid with a grape juice stained mouth and a pile of books. I loved my grape juice and my books! I flash on sitting on the counter baking with my mom and can even still smell the glue as I remember watching my dad retile the tile in our bathroom. I remember rides in the car and the Drive in and picking berries on a summer day out in the woods in Washington. I remember feeding the ducks and moving to California and meeting my bestfriend who I have remained best friends with over the decades. And I smile.

But somewhere along the way, that kid got disappointed and things happened in her life that caused her to have a hard time trusting anyone let alone her self,  she felt hurt and misunderstood over and over and over again and re-visiting the parts of her pain  is not the easiest task at hand. Getting to know the younger version of yourself is about as comfortable as inviting that obstinate step child on a wonderful vacation. But we all need to go there. To interrupt our lives and explore the parts of us that never integrated into our adult self. If we don’t that kid will continually pop back into our life when we are least expecting them. They always seem to appear in the form of anger, or  fear or in the deepest part of our sorrow.

I have a feeling my childish self is not going to come or go quietly. She may even go kicking and screaming but I need to trust myself that it is going to be okay. It will be okay for her too. She is safe now, inside of the adult me. I have finally begun to trust myself and to quit relying on everyone else to make it better. To stop living in the past and finally take my own steps into the future. To trust myself and learn to love me and believe in me and KNOW that what I feel about me is enough. I am the boss of me. Well, of course God is the boss of me, but you know what I mean. I have been giving that power to everyone else in my life and I am taking it back from EVERYONE and only giving it to God and me! And I am empowered and the child in me calms and begins to relax in the knowledge that somebody else is in control now.

For so long, I have doubted everything about myself. My intelligence & abilities, my wisdom and even my morals and my own character and just when I fell into the darkest place of my life, that is when I began to see the light, as if lost in a cave, dark and damp, only to find the hope of a ray of light through the cracks. That is where I am now. I have found the light. I may not totally be out of the cave yet but I see the way out and I am going to beat the myth of being stuck in my child. Instead I am going to invite her to come into the light with me and find the joy. I am strong enough and smart enough and brave enough to guide her right to the light where she belongs.

I am going to stop fighting the smile. To believe  in the dream  that it really is okay to genuinely be happy and take new photographs and to smile really big.  And…“Say cheeeeese.” To let everyone know I am happy and that I don’t have to fight it any longer.


11 thoughts on “To Stop Fighting The Smile

  1. You can’t really bring that child out of the past, Di. She’s there to stay, but you can keep the child that lives in you now happy as I try to keep the boy in me alive and happy. Just smile, and don’t fight the magic !!! 🙂

  2. With regard to whether or not to welcome this younger version into your life, and embrace her, warts and all, just consider this. If it were a cute but bedraggled little puppy, starving, scared, and in need of love, of course you’d take the puppy in and love it, care for it, and nurture it until it felt like it was loved, and could return that love. If it were a total stranger that appeared on your doorstep one afternoon, a little girl, or boy, who had been abused, was hungry, afraid, and in need of care and love, of course you would take he/she in and care for her/him, at least for the time being. How could you do any less for this little girl that you already know so well, and even know how she will turn out? You know her fears, the reasons for them, and most importantly, how you can rescue her from all that she suffers from, and help guide her back into the lightness of the days that you currently enjoy. You already know the answer to this. Bite the bullet and do it. Let me know how it turns out!

    1. I agree, Coastal mom. I gave my power to my husband because I trusted him and he was so intelligent. But you know what? I had something he never had. I am creative in the face of challenges. I can be flexible about adapting to situations. I bet you have these abilities too. There is something else you have that will develop if it hasn’t already. Your intuition (call it your inner guidance, the Holy Spirit, angels or whatever).But it will guide you to grow and understand.
      The book that initiated my journey to wholeness was Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes . She shares ancient legends of different countries about the inner strengths women have. If you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend it. Find a friend you trust and talk to her. Journal what you are thinking and feeling. Write letters or talk to the child you were as if she is there .
      If you want to you are welcome to contact me. Let me know if I can help. I am still on the journey myself but am a good listener.

      1. Joyful,
        You and I have a lot in common. I gave away my power to someone when I was younger as well… which I know you know since that has been my platform for starting this blog… To take back the power! I am so glad you did!

    2. LOL… You are right! I think it is easier sometimes to take in the puppy than to love yourself enough to tend to the younger version of ourselves. Talk about having to teach an old dog new tricks! You’d think I’d have “GOTTEN” around to figuring this all out when I was a lot younger!
      You are such a great find! Thank you for nudging me along!

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