A glad heart makes a happy face, a broken heart crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13
I am going to be honest. I have a problem with this particular Proverb. Solomon while certainly wise and getting most things right, has it wrong in this one line. I just have to beg to differ here.
Because of what I like to refer to as my natural “frowny” face. As you can see in the above picture, it is a frown, a scowl, a look of disgust that I have worn since my childhood. It is the reason I shy away from spontaneous pictures-because no matter how hard I try, I always look mad. In looking at most of the pictures of me past and present, one would think I was in one of the most rotten of moods.
But, really? I’m happy! My heart is glad even if it doesn’t show on my face.
My natural smile turned upside down has often been the subject that has made relationships and conversations anything but happy. Recently my “frown” has been the subject of various disagreements with my husband as well. See, I don’t always greet him in the evenings with a mega-watt smile. Sometimes this is because I am monitoring the cooking prowess of our five year old, or trying to discuss the importance of neat penmanship with our six year old. Most of the time, nothing is really wrong. Our teen and I have probably shared a joke or two on most of these afternoons. Hunter has probably said something witty, and maybe a little weird, and Hayley has probably amused me with her dancing moves.
I’m happy! Really!
I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy. 2 Corinthians 7:4
But, my lack of a smile sends my husband this message: She must be ticked off about something. Better not talk to her!
Sadly, my husband is not the only one to whom I may have conveyed this message.
People have assumed my frowny face means I don’t like them. But, really…there are not many people I don’t like. I’m actually in love with most everyone!
Colleagues have assumed I am stuck up. But honestly…I am far from that. Remember, I am in love with you and most everyone else!
She’s mad. She’s mean. She’s cold. She must hate her life. Does she ever smile?
I am here to assure you that-no, I am not mad. I can be mean. We all can at times. I am not cold. I love hugs, and I love to give them. And although there are some things about my life that I would like to change, I love most of it.
Despite my frowny face, I really do like you. I really am nice-I promise. And, I am happy. Really!
So, after I professed my frowny happiness to my husband, his words were these: I need to work on not judging based on your outward appearance, or my perception of what type of mood you are in.
Ding! Ding! Ding! You got it!
This is what we do-judge on outward appearances. We assume the worst about what a person may be feeling or thinking. We miss out on meaningful relationships because we think someone is in a bad mood, or dislikes us.
“Every scowling face also contains the shapes of engaging smiles, just waiting to be released.” Dr. SunWolf
So, next time you see a scowling face, don’t be afraid to approach, or to strike up a conversation. You may just find that underneath that natural frown is a man or woman who has a whole heck of a lot to smile about!