I forgot to… S M I L E ! ! !
This has been a very tough week for Bill. He went back on chemo and it hit him very hard both physically and emotionally. Being witness to it was difficult for me, as you can imagine.
Driving down the street here in Skokie, IL where he is receiving treatment, I realized I was frowning. A lot. Not only that, the way I was holding my body was a testimony to the emotional weight I am carrying. And then I realized two things:
- If I continued, I would make myself sick; and
- Seeing all that weariness would do Bill no good at all. In fact, quite the opposite.
So I smiled. And, just as I have taught for years, I immediately began to feel better. I suddenly noticed snippets of blue peeking out from the gray sky. I saw children at play. And I hummed along to the song on the radio (which, coincidentally was “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter). http://www.slack-time.com/music-video-513-Daniel-Powter-Bad-Day
Your brain doesn’t know the difference between pretend and reality. This is incredibly useful data. As I smile, pretending to feel good, my brain sends feel-good chemicals into my body and pretty soon I AM feeling good.
Do I grin from ear to ear when Bill is suffering? Of course not. But I do smile at him, a tender, loving smile and it makes us both feel better.
Do I deny my own pain? No. There are tears galore but not constantly and rarely in front of Bill unless we are crying together.
The sum total of Bill’s daily existence is not his cancer and the sum total of my day is not what’s happening to Bill. There are plenty of other things to smile about.
What are you making the sum total of YOUR day? Is it making you happy?
Today, start noticing when you are frowning or slumping your shoulders or sighing. Instead, remember to: