My "Smile on Life" Story

In October 2011 my wife and I, along with family and friends, celebrated the marriage of our son to a wonderful young woman, Jessica Arnold. In January of 2013 my wife and I, along with family and friends mourned the death and celebrated the life of this young woman. To be present to share with another family the loss of their daughter and to share in the sorrow of our son’s loss is to be blessed for coming deeper into the mystery of love. 

I was seated four rows behind my son watching the tears roll down his cheeks as he stoically sat in the front seat of the chapel while a friend of his and Jessica sang one of their favorite songs. My heart was breaking and there was nothing that I could do but to lovingly gaze on him with the eyes of my heart and ‘smile on’ him with all of the love of the universe.

This experience in my life has only resolved my belief that there are really only two responses in life that are worth having; “for all that has been- thanks and for all that shall be- yes”, spoken by Dag Hammarskjold. He said In these words, echo trust, surrender, faith, hope and love. I ask myself, “What else should my response to life be for the blessings that have come to me in my life and for the blessing that is my life?” “What else should my response be when my life began with a primal ‘yes’ out of nothingness?” Six years later my son married Christen, a remarkable woman who recently gave birth to their son. Now I gaze on my grandson and smile on him with all the love of the universe. All I can say is, ‘thank you’.

It seems to be that the only right response to our lives, yours and mine, is one of giving thanks for having been given the blessing of being alive and for being able to share blessings of love and gratitude with others. To really share a blessing of love and gratitude by smiling on life is to draw from the truest expression of oneself which is kindness, goodness, and love. To mindfully share a ‘heart smile’ gives blessing to the life around us and we become once again reminded that we are connected with life. A simple smile on life opens our heart to welcome the world and be present to the joys and the sufferings of others.

So, this simple phrase “smile on life” is my offering to the world to not only to pause, see life with eyes of the heart, smile on life with love often, but to wholeheartedly ‘smile on’ those mirrors in our lives that awaken us to love; to our goodness; to the love that is all around us; to what is real. For me to smile on all my loved ones, and all that is around me is to say ‘thanks’ for being blessed and to say ‘yes’ in continuing to strive to offer blessings of love to others and the world.

Let your unique smile on life be your signature ‘thanks’ for all that is and a ‘yes’ for all that will be in your life.

May you Smile On Life often with love and gratitude!!

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