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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Monday, September 04, 2006

What does happy joyous and free look like? -A smile on the heart

What does happy joyous and free look like? I like Thich Nhat Hanh's description. He say's it's more like 'a smile on the heart' rather than a smile on the face. This works for me. Although there is nothing wrong with a smile on the face. But a lot of women, due to their wimpy/ spinelessness and general nervousness, can have a very insincere nervous smile. So generally, a smile on it's own doesn't mean much.
When I talk to someone who smiles nervously, I feel uncomfortable. II also find that I am compelled to smile nervously in return. It actually requires quite a force of will to NOT do that. So I consider it a favor to refuse to smile nervously in the company of others.
The face stores up SO much tension, that a smile from an uncomfortable person, can be really quite unpleasant. For me anyhow. I'm not sure if other 'civvies' notice it to the extent I do, but I think non alcoholic 'normal' people notice it.
The more useless you think you are, the more there can be a desperate desire to be liked manifesting in a people-pleasing ingratiating nervous grin.

Also you should NEVER smile when you are discussing something that is not amusing or pleasant. This is called MIXED MESSAGES.
If you are someone whose expression is almost permanently fixed in a smile, you are probably just a very nervous person. People who smile a lot when they talk regardless of what they are talking about look a bit odd. Even comedians don't smile much. There's a clue.
So please, if you are in the 'nervous smile' category, try NOT to smile. You will make everyone MUCH more comfortable. If you INSIST on having a PERMANENT GRIN, opt for the 'smile on the heart' instead. Its a LOT nicer.

I'm afraid I consider women to be the worst offenders in the nervous smile category. Once you decide to try NOT smiling, you'll realize just how difficult it is. I still don't find it easy when im in nervous company.

Here's some other dodgy looking smile type stuff that sprung to mind...
Maniac laughing
Fixed grin. Really bad with fixed eye contact!
Strained smile. I'm trying to be polite, but I hate you, sort of thing.
Weary (never mind eh?) smile. Betrays 'poor me' thinking, and a boatload of self pity.
Nervous laugh
Look how much I'm enjoying myself REALLY!! Laugh
Obsequious smile
Ingratiating smile
The 'buoy you up' or 'Jolly you along' grin. This says much more about the other persons inability to tolerate what looks like a more 'real' expression. Its a control freak trying to cheer you up!
The 'positive thinking' (I'm in complete denial of my shadow) grimace
Smug smile. Yuk! It's SO full of ego. Very patronizing to boot.
Smarmy smile. Just looks really phony.

Bleh! Nervous smiles SUCK! Don't do them!!! They look REALLY uncomfortable, ingratiating, insincere, and nervous! And NEVER get into the habit of having a permanent smile when you are speaking. That's the worst. Looks really dodgy. Even if your mouth is permanently tipped up at the end. That's just as bad. In my opinion anyway. Apart from that, I really like them!
Look at top models on catwalks. Are they smiling? No! Yet they are the epitome of attractiveness. Models go to great lengths to rid them selves of facial tension, so that they look more attractive. So please learn from them!
Try to be sincere, instead of giving in to habit. It may feel 'clunky' at first, but its do-able

By the way. Don't go to the other end of the spectrum and conclude that the only sincere expression is a miserable one. It isnt. Its just not a permanent grin!
That remind me how after a 'unremitting doom' chair, punctuated by fits of weeping, is often met with sharing from the floor along the lines of, 'That was SO honest'. !! In other words, misery is held in high esteem in aa as being 'real', and a balanced disposition goes unnoticed or just doesn't ever attract the same type of comments from the floor. Why? Cynicism! The embedded belief that life is shite and could not possibly be enjoyed. Oh well. Enough about my pet hates! Hahaa. Right I'm off. Too long as usual...

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