How many people do you engage with on a daily basis? How many of those people are smiling outward, but on the inside it is a different story? Maybe there are dealing with pain, anger, abuse, abandonment, suicide, depression, anxiety, sadness, hate, resentment or loss of hope. All the emotional turmoil neatly tucked away to a deep hidden sacred place. Where they will do anything to protect their facade with a smile while their heart and soul are so broken.
We all have been there one time or another in our life. I spent many years hiding behind a smile. When someone would approach me and ask how my day ways my famous words were, “I’m fine” followed by a smile. I would cheerfully reply with such a heavy heart and my eyes still stinging from crying the night before. My response was in no way meant to be misleading or dishonest however it was a means of preservation, protection and control.
It is very common in our society today to associate crying and pain with weakness. That it’s not okay to ask for help. I was blessed to have amazing women in my life in the midst of my hell. Those friends took the time to read between the lines of, “I’m Ok.” For so many they don’t have the support or friends to read between their lines. We have to make it our mission to look for those that are hurting, who may feel they are not seen or heard. You can learn a lot about someone even a perfect stranger just by their demeanor and body language.
We have to learn to read between the lines. I didn’t realize until many years after I had left my ex-husband that my friends became better than any FBI agent. They had serious skills! Not only would they stalk my house in the late hours of the night but they picked up on the clothes I would wear and from the words I would say. The black dress resembled the pain I had endured the night or nights before. I couldn’t wear jeans or a form fitting blouse after a night of being beat because my skin would hurt as the clothing would brush against my skin. I resorted to wearing this black dress I had because it was flowy and it wouldn’t rub up against my skin. My friends would soon come to Hate that dress. Yet the never once judged me for going back day after day. For years they continued to read between the lines.
God has a plan for all of our lives. Maybe that plan consists of paying attention to those around you, to those that are close to you, to your co-workers or friends of your children. You never know what someone is going through until you take some time to read between the lines and be observant. When we care and love one another it becomes a natural instinct to want to protect. I am so grateful for the two very important women in my life that took that time and gave me a safe place to land.
Remember, it’s scary what a smile can hide. Look underneath the facade and be someone’s rainbow on their cloud.
“Be a Rainbow in someone else’s cloud, no matter who they are.” -Maya Angelou