I was watching the news, and with all the Brexit coverage, there were lots of shots of politicians leaving their houses on their way to work. Although their views on the Brexit results may have differed markedly, there was one thing that seemed to be consistent with them all, and that was their smile.
Even with absolute pandemonium ensuing outside, they still managed to smile for the cameras; some even managed a childlike, nervous wave, as if to say “I’m so confident right now, here I am.” But what I realised didn’t add up, was that the smile was saying one thing but the eyes and the body were very much, saying another.
I reflected on this awareness of these different messages within myself, as I know for a fact that I push out the same smile to the world; this kind of “everything is going to be ok” smile. It’s a smile of total protection, because if people see me smiling, then surely their eyes are going to clock it and the brain translates this message as “this person is ok.”
I realised that I present this so that the world leaves me alone, thus it is a form of protection.
If I am smiling then I don’t have to present discomfort or sadness, and if the world doesn’t see this then I don’t have to answer to it. Maybe even through repeating this behaviour I can convince myself that I am actually ok, and that the feelings inside of me of panic, worry and unrest are not applicable and that the smile I wear is actually true.
It reminds me of a clown – no wonder I have never liked clowns – are they reflecting a truth within me that I am not comfortable in seeing myself?
For my birthday I chose to have a photography session with one of the many amazing photographers who belong to the Universal Medicine Student Body. There I was, in the presence of this amazing woman who was offering me absolute space to be myself, and indeed actively encouraging it, and yet as each minute passed by I noticed how sore my jaw and face were becoming with my “for the camera” smile.
It was such a habit to smile in preparation for the camera, that after a while it was actually becoming increasingly uncomfortable to continue to smile and the quality of the shots deteriorated significantly.
Funnily enough, as the photos went into editing we both felt the session, although fun and subsequently providing some decent shots, required a re-take. There was something about the whole experience that was very exposing for me, and in that, I realised that I wasn’t being in touch with myself, or my essence, at all. I was just presenting an image of myself that would be caught in the frame… where was I?
Cue a slight identity crisis. But what is remarkable is that now I am aware of these fake, plastic smiles, I can keep a close eye on them. It’s not hard, as they feel completely forced and leave you physically sore at the end of it.
What I have learnt is that there is absolutely no hiding behind these smiles or these attempts to make the world think that everything is ok. Just as a politician can’t tell us that everything is ‘ok’, as we observe the total chaos ensuing, neither can I flash a smile to the world and have everyone believe that I am just ‘tickety-boo’.
It is almost a mockery of the fact that people feel first; how arrogant is that? Here’s me thinking that I can use a smile to hide away, but all the while forgetting that people, whether consciously or not, are aware of what I am actually expressing and inevitably losing trust in me, as I am presenting one image, but actually presenting something completely different.
With this awareness, it’s now time to play and ask the deeper questions. When do I smile in ways that hurt my face? What is happening around me to cause the smile? Does it happen off camera, as well as on camera? Does it happen with certain people? Does it happen in certain situations more than others? How does it leave me feeling afterwards? Do I want to run away and eat a chocolate cake or does it leave me feeling delightful?
If there is one thing I am always grateful for when it comes to the presentations by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, it is the ever-expanding support in the development of my awareness and mini self-experiments. I wonder what will be exposed underneath all these fake smiles…
By Phil, Sales Exec, Ascot, UK
Energetic Integrity an Energetic Responsibility
Life Behind The Mask
Picture imperfect – women we have been framed
Ultimately what we’re all hiding behind is astral energy. A shape shifting form of energy that will be anything that anybody wants it to be other than the truth. Time to out it for what it is.
We can mechanically draw the edges of our mouths up but we can’t mechanically bring joy into our eyes, so often our smiles don’t reach our eyes and that’s a dead giveaway.
“I realised that I present this so that the world leaves me alone, thus it is a form of protection”, Phil something that I have noticed that we do which is very similar to smiling in order to not go deeper into whatever it is that’s happening for us is to say “it’s all good”. When people say “it’s all good” it often means that it’s not but that a person wants to stay at surface level.
Great to read this today as I have a repeated behaviour of visiting a person, it all seemingly goes well, but then craving snacks after the visit. What’s going on underneath the seaming ‘everything was great’?
Could it be that underneath it all we can fully connect to being joy-full, and that we can be in joy and not smile? And if True we can all have our own mini-self-experiment by first understanding how deeply we are connected to our essences and thus appreciate our ability to heal our ill way and these “mini self-experiments” can bring full Joy-full-ness to our lives with or without a smile! With Appreciation being our awareness of that Truth that our physical being is not all of who we are, and that we can be Soul-full and that may put a smile on our face?
Smiling when it is not genuine is both harmful to the one delivering the smile and to the one receiving it.
Yes yes we do, as young children we have it nailed we only smile when its true – though as we get older we can sell out to be liked.
Smiling from the heart when its true has the power to melt another.
Is this what we really want, with the plastic smiles, the world to leave us alone? ‘I realised that I present this so that the world leaves me alone, thus it is a form of protection.’
It’s interesting reading this article and how we think we have to put on a brave face and smile even we are feeling sad or upset about something. I can feel that with children they do not do this, if they are upset or sad this naturally shows on their face, it seems to be as adults that we perfect the fake smile and cover up how we are truly feeling.
Our movements can-not hide what we are putting on as a facial expression and the deeper we feel the more exposing of the falsities of life are and therefore the simpler for us to read or see straight through the put on’s.
Having a painful injury to my jaw for the last five weeks has been very testing at times, but there has been one big plus. And that is I know immediately when I head for a ‘plastic smile’, as it actually hurts fairly quickly. I know that I have reverted to these un-real smiles a lot less in the last few years since I became aware of their regular place in my life, but the last few weeks have sure shown me that they are not far away. Now, not to ignore the lesson.
Plastic smiles are always disingenuous as is not living who we truly are.
Phill, what you are sharing in this article is so true. It seems obvious when we have false smiles, it is easy to see and feel from someones eyes and body that in fact they are not feeling great and the smile is a put on and not try joy. I love that children cannot fake smiles; if they are upset about something it clearly shows.
It goes to show how far we have moved away from the honesty of childhood when we observe the beautifully open and heart-felt smile of a child; it’s like their whole body smiles. In stark contrast, if we were to check in with our body when our ‘plastic smile’ is in place, I am sure that it won’t be feeling open, definitely not smiling, and as for a connection to our heart, it simply won’t be there.
We can use smiles to appease another and this is a form of protection. But little is gained as we are still operating in fear about a certain situation or a person.
Often what we call a smile feels like a grimace. But we do not want to be honest about it, because it may cause a stir, or an issue with someone else. There so so much protection in how we use our face, very rarely is it open and transparent. We wear a mask and do not share ourselves, unless we think it is safe…so yes we often put on the fake smile, and if we allow ourselves, we can feel the insincerity of this choice.
We think we can hide from others and yet we are all feeling what is happening all the time, so very much a lot of wasted effort.
It is interesting, this link that you make between smiling, protection, and being left alone. Which makes me think about how lovely and important a genuine smile is.
We can hide beyond anything in life that is not of our truth. Plastic smiles are everywhere. Without us becoming honest we will not choose to let go of the plastic smiles and seek the truth beyond what our eyes can see.