Finding your smile

Today, a monumental day is in the making. I wish I could say it was the day Big Foot was found, but he is still eluding us and hiding from civilization. I think he has scopophobia. That’s just a fancy word to describe someone who has a fear of being seen by others. No, today is not Big Foot Discovery Day. Today is the day I actually start writing my very own book. Something I think everyone will enjoy reading.

Unlike Big Foot, I don’t have a problem with scopophobia. I’m the type of person that walks into a room with a smile on her face ready to greet the people I meet. I can’t help it. I could be having a terrible, down-right horrible day, but I keep my smile. And it’s real too. It’s not some plastered on piece of cracked plaster or something painted on with crazy clown make-up. It’s a piece of my heart that is spread across my face.

Do you want to know why I wear it? I wear it because I have learned to love ME. Not in a vanity kind of way, but in a true appreciation for the person I was created to be.

Over the years, there have been things that have tried to take my smile. I have dealt with tragedy after tragedy in life. Things that no one should have to face and still be standing to tell about it. But here I am…and I’m smiling. I tell you that because I want you to understand that we all come from a dysfunctional, messed up, broken past. No one has the perfect life. We all have a past, we all have hurts and we all have dirty laundry. (I think there are a few loads in my hamper that I still need to take to the laundromat myself.)

Because of this, our minds are filled with a barrage of thoughts that simply shouldn’t be there. Pause for a moment and listen to the voices rattling around in your head. Are they speaking doubts, fears, confusion, condemnation? One thing you have to understand is that your mind is a liar. It’s constantly talking, talking, talking. It’s like background sounds that fill up the silence, yet it is filling up the silence with things that you don’t need to hear. You need to speak life over your mind. Stop letting your mind speak death over you.

I want you to do something. It’s my challenge to you. When you wake up tomorrow, I want you to look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I love you. You are beautiful.”

I know that sounds silly. I can see you shaking your head and saying to yourself, she’s nuts. Well, I admit I’m nuts, but that’s beside the point, I want you to do it anyway.

I can already tell you what’s going to happen. Your alarm clock is going to buzz you awake. You are going to get out of bed – groggily and grouchy might I add – and walk into the bathroom and say, “This is dumb!” You are then going to pause for a minute and decide maybe that nutcase is onto something. So, you are going to look in the mirror, and as you see your reflection staring back at you, all you are going to see is that your hair is plastered to one side of your head, your face is splotchy and oily, and your sheets have left prints on your cheek. At that moment you aren’t going to feel so loveable or beautiful. As you look at yourself, you will sort-of, kind-of say, “I love you. You’re beautiful.” Then your mind is going to tell you that what you just said isn’t true. But remember, your mind is a liar.

Now get up the next morning and do it again…and again…and again…and again. Every morning, get up and tell yourself “I love you. You are beautiful.” After one week I can guarantee you that you will begin to notice a change. After two weeks you just might start to believe it. And after three weeks you will be wearing a smile.

Loving yourself is the first step in finding your smile. Are you willing to take the challenge?

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  


About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

32 replies
  1. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    That’s a good lesson Penelope, I did that 40 years ago and it still stands. Too often we look at the person in front of us and not the spirit of tham. We are all (well most of us) beautiful people and should be treating each other the same. That idea is something like Monty Python when the sang ‘Look at the bright side of life’ only their settiing was a little different than ours.

  2. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    I’m one of your biggest fans! I can’t tell you how many times you have pulled me up from the doldrums even when we could tell you were “down there” yourself! I am finding it easier to smile, and am up for your challenge. I also cannot wait for the publishing of your new best-seller that you have yet to write! Go get’m! Can I get an autographed copy??!!

  3. Debbie Godlove
    Debbie Godlove says:

    I do love myself. My new MS self. A kinder, compassionate, appreciative, more patient, self. MS has made me a better person.

  4. Leah
    Leah says:

    Good morning Penelope. Bravo for taking the challenge to write a book…I look forward to reading it when it comes out. Looking in the mirror and acknowledging that ‘you love yourself’ is a terrific way to start your day…I have done so for quite some time now and it really does work! It builds self-esteem, positivity, and certainly puts a smile on your face. I rarely wake up grouchy…even when I’ve gotten up numerous times to go to the bathroom for a “P”…and even when my husband has snored a good portion of the night…my smile remains. I’m sure your morning blogs have put smiles on many people’s faces…thank you.😊

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