As a teenager I hated my smile. My cousin and I both share this smile where you see our gums, a lot of them, when we full on smile. We practiced doing a half smile so that in pictures we didn’t look and see that smile we both hated. For years I wouldn’t full on smile because of that. Fast forward several years to a night with two ladies I love dearly. Someone snapped a candid shot of the three of us laughing. We all looked and immediately picked apart how wide our mouths were… And then we stopped because the joy we were feeling when that picture was snapped was greater than our perceived flaws. I love that photo! LOVE IT! To this day I smile when I see it and I think of the lesson that we often pick apart everything about ourselves when there is no need to.
Since that moment I’ve smiled more with my real smile. It’s funny because I rarely think about it now. Recently I’ve had a bunch of pictures taken and in almost every one of them I’m smiling with my full on smile. These pictures make me happy because the memories they represent and the time spent with someone who’s quite special.
Here’s the thing I’ve found when I see that smile on my face, it’s there when I’m with the people I’m most comfortable with, with my tribe so to speak. That is beautiful thing! Time spent with the people our souls are at home with.
Learning to love my smile helped me learn to love myself and my imperfections. That in turn helped me to love others more. Not everyone learns to do that. I’m lucky, I’ve had an amazing teacher in my friend Aliah. In our years of friendship she’s been the one to help me learn to see the beauty in the flaws.
As we go into a new year, my hope for all of you is that you have friendship that makes you smile your biggest smile and that you learn to love yourself and others, imperfections and all.
Much love! Happy 2018!