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I’ve Learned to Smile with My Eyes

It’s November 2020 and the world is still fighting the Corona Virus pandemic. Wearing a mask everywhere I go feels normal now, though sometimes I still feel like I can’t breathe.

I socially distance. I stay home most of the time. I only leave the house when necessary.

I am lucky. I have worked from home for decades so nothing with my work changed very much. I like being at home, I like the flexibility of my work schedule, and I love being my own boss.

I know others are struggling with loneliness and isolation because they used to work in a thriving social environment and now perhaps they are working from their kitchen table.

I know that mental health issues are growing and I am concerned about the number of people who are depressed, anxious, lonely, and fearful. I am also grateful that I am able to help people in these unprecedented times.

I know that families are struggling on so many levels with time, energy, finances, relationship stress, fears, and homeschooling.

It’s not easy.

But the other day, I was heading into a physical therapy appointment. I was already tired and I wasn’t looking forward to the torture my therapist would put me through.

I sat down in the waiting room and there was an elderly lady sitting across from me. When our eyes locked, I smiled. Then I realized she couldn’t see me smile through my mask.

But she said, “You smile with your eyes.”

I said, “Pardon?”

She said, “You smile with your eyes. They light up when you smile and I can feel your warmth even though I can’t see most of your face.”

I sat with that for just a moment, and I realized that we have adapted to our plight. We can’t hug each other, shake hands, or even get too close, but that isn’t stopping us from connecting.

We connect energetically. We wrap tendrils of love and affection around our loved ones and strangers. We can feel each others’ energy even if we can’t express it like we used to.

The pandemic can’t crush us unless we stop adapting.

The next time you’re in the grocery store, or a waiting room, send your smile out through your eyes. Send loving tendrils of affection to the people in the room. See what happens to the energy in the room as you fill it up with your love, connection, and support.

Fill the world with your smile. We can get through this, together.

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