WARNING: Uplifting joy-filled optimism ahead
I am a hope-filled, joy-filled, optimist that is way too happy on the gloomiest of days. It’s a curse as much as it is a blessing. I naturally smile when I engage in conversation. I know, it sickens me too. When that conversation plummets to a serious and not-so-smile-appropriate topic there is always a moment of awkward facial twitching as I strive to match the appropriate emotion to the appropriate facial expression. It must be quite a spectacle as those I am engaged with often begin to show signs of distress and I’m not sure if I should show them to the bathroom or hand them a barf bag. Awkward.
The secret to my obnoxiously optimistic outlook and underlying source to my smile begins and ends with a Joy-filled Instagram feed. Okay–not entirely, however it is one aspect. I surround myself with positive and uplifting profiles that strengthen my smile. I do indeed wear rose colored sunglasses and smiley faces displayed in random locations serve as joyful reminders of happy days.
For any of the realists that have suffered through this post this far, let me stretch you a bit further and say that there is real benefit to this over-the-top optimism. For me, the profiles I follow online nurture my passions and reaffirm my zeal for those passions. They offer ideas to enliven and embolden my own approach to otherwise mundane efforts. In other words, by surrounding myself, with uplifting optimists I have resources to turn to that will carry me through the realities of dark times. With my rose-colored sunglasses securely planted on my face I say the world is a brighter place.
Some of my favorite Happy Happy Joy Joy profiles are included in the pic. I however, want to highlight a couple here with you.
First up is @Marriage365. The business and unnecessary burdens of the holidays are the exact reason I have rose-colored sunglasses. Between spouses the happiest time of the year is downright the meanest time of year. Or maybe that’s just my relationship? Eek. Either way, with @Marriage 365 I focus on showing love and talking love. No holiday or occasion is too great to stop me from being more loving toward my spouse.
Second is @WomenofChrist. Ah! What can I say about them. They have a little bit of everything. From biblical quotes and saintly quotes to all around inspirational stories and shares.
Lastly, since I did one exclusively for the ladies, I will highlight one that isn’t in the pic, but one I do follow on Instagram. @CatholicGentleman is a great feed on living the dad life. As a mom I find his feed to be inspiring because I like seeing things from a dad’s perspective…and not necessarily always from the perspective of the father of my children. Although the two perspectives often align more times than not, I must confess.
And if all this inspirational babbling has you seeking a pool of negativity, I have that too. There was a time when I tried to suppress my obnoxious smile. In fact, I suppressed it so well I thought I lost it. My treasured smile was nowhere to be found. I began to retrace my steps and found myself revisiting my old happy places. I checked the clearance rack at my favorite department store and found a few great deals (score!), but no smile. So sad. Continuing my search I stopped in at my favorite coffee house. I thought I caught a glimpse of it, but alas, it quickly faded behind my frothy mustache. Bummer. Feeling a bit dismayed I pleaded to St. Anthony. I explained that I searched everywhere I might have lost it and gave a detailed account of when I last saw that elusive smile. Just then St. Anthony, in all is his saintly wisdom, replies with a gentle ever-so-familiar and equally vexing canned response like the one we get from our mothers, “where did you last see it?” In a huff, I begrudgingly once again gave a thorough recount of when I last saw my smile. Every last detail was shared. In desperation, my very being was bared. Lo and behold! There! In the midst of emptying my entire being I found my smile. Right where I left it. Securely stuffed way down deep inside me. My smile couldn’t be found among those clearance-rack bargains, nor could it be found at the bottom of my favorite frothy latte treat. My smile isn’t reliant on outside gratifications. Rather, it is a manifestation of my emptying of self and His light dwelling within me.
And with that, I offer you this little light of mine so that you too may share in the awkward moments of smiling a little too broadly at inappropriate times.
Copyright 2015 Gina Felter