Why are we so embarrassed by tears but proud of our smiles? Perhaps it’s because society has taught us all of our lives that we SHOULD smile: for the camera, for other people, to impress, to be liked, even to be loved. We’ve been told that a smile makes other people feel good. It’s more welcoming and comforting to those around us. We’ve been taught to smile, in spite of how we TRULY feel inside. What I’ve come to embrace as my truth, is that a smile is simply and EXPRESSION of our true emotions, just like tears, laughter, moaning, and anything else. A smile should never be a substitution or mask for how we are truly feeling inside, because when we smile just to please others, we are truly denying ourselves.
Not every tear is a sad one. In the past few days I’ve cried a LOT. Some of my tears are from frustration, disappointment, and even fear. While some of them have been from cleansing, release and healing. However, I know that I don’t have to be ashamed of any of my feelings. I don’t have to hide my tears or quickly wipe them away. I don’t have to pretend. I have the right to own every single emotion that I feel. Because clarity, truth, and freedom come from owning my emotions. When I can be true about HOW I feel, then I can be true about WHY I feel. When I know the WHY of what I am feeling , then I am able to choose whether or not I want to change and decide when I am ready to change. Sometimes I can feel frustration, disappointment, or sadness and I need to sit with those emotions for a while. I need to FEEL them and understand where they are coming from, so I can understand myself better. This brings me EMPOWERMENT, because as long as I attribute my feelings to outside circumstances (they made me feel____) “they” will always control my emotions. However, when I own my emotions, then I embrace the power to choose my expression. I can feel sadness and decide to cry or smile. I can feel happiness and decide to smile or cry. I can feel anger and choose to scream or breathe deeply. I always have the power to choose.
I don’t have to hide my tears and neither do I have to fake a smile. I am free to be authentic in my emotional expression. Discovering this brings so much freedom. Who are we hiding our tears from? Who are we faking a smile for? Perhaps it is even the other way around at times. Maybe sometimes we hide our true Joy and downplay our celebratory moments. This is the age of “the selfie” where we photograph ourselves and share it with the world. Are we being authentic in our expressions or are we pretending for an audience? I challenge you to be more vulnerable in emotional expression. I challenge you to be true to your feelings. I challenge you to embrace your emotions and then take the time to understand the WHY. If facing your true feelings is too much for you, remember that you can always seek help to do it. Professional therapy, counseling, or coaching is a great way to get the help you need, to connect with your emotions while being supported by someone in a safe, confidential environment. Whether you do it alone, or seek help both are acts of courage. They will bring you to a healthier, more loving relationship with yourself.
If you are seeking to connect with your emotions around your food and body relationship I am prepared to help you do so in a supportive, confidential setting. I invite you to be proactive by scheduling a FREE initial session here.
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rasec/2747058446
Related articles across the web
Other Body Love Posts You Will Enjoy:
Latest posts by Ivy LaArtista (see all)
- S is For Stretchmarks | A Radical Selfie Post by Akilah Richards - 08/12/2015
- M is for Mirror | Embracing the Beauty In Others - 08/01/2015
- Netflix OITNB Early Release May Ruin My Self Care Saturday - 06/12/2015
- How I Manage My Challenging Body Image Moments - 06/10/2015