If you chance to meet a frown
Do not let it stay
Quickly turn it upside-down
And smile that frown away.
No one likes a frowny face.
Change it for a smile.
Make the world a better place by smiling all the while.
-The Children's Songbook
Miracles are healing because they supply a lack; they are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less.
-A Course in Miracles
A couple of weeks ago, I had a series of bad days that culminated one Tuesday afternoon when I found myself completely unable to function like I needed to. I was tired and overwhelmed, one of those days when my bed seems to have strengthened its gravitational pull by one thousand, combining with my brain to seduce me into the sweet escape of sleepy oblivion. My sweet husband found me wrapped up in a sad cocoon in my bed and called my mama, who offered to watch the children for the afternoon. I roused myself long enough to text my friend Hana and let her know that I wouldn't be over to visit that afternoon like we had planned, that my mom was taking the kiddos and I was going to spend some time alone. And sweet Hana knew that I needed something. She responded, "Are you okay? Do you need someone to talk to?" And I, who early in life deeply internalized the idea that "no one likes a frowny face," and very rarely let people in on my crap, decided that I would just let it all hang out. So I texted back and said that I was not okay. That I was exhausted and sad and angry and overwhelmed and that I would very much like to talk.
And so she came over. And we talked. I told her all my frustrations. I cried. And it felt fabulous. Faaaabulous. My burdens were lifted just in talking about them. And do you know what? She was totally okay with my frowny face. In fact, our friendship deepened as a result of that afternoon conversation. She called me the next day and I answered the phone without even being afraid. This is big for me, who only answers the phone fearlessly for approximately four people.
And do you know what else?
On a whim, she ended up loaning me a book that I needed. That I really, really needed.
Nobody wants to be friends with a person whose life is perfect. I mean, it's true that not a lot of people are going to be want to spend large quantities of time with someone who is persistently negative, whiny, and critical, but that doesn't mean that you can't be real. That you can't say, "Sometimes I hate my life." Because everybody hates their life sometimes. And it's really, really nice to know you're not alone. That someone is there with you, and they see your flaws, and they still like you anyway.
Being okay with yourself means being okay with your broken bits, too. I suspect that true happiness is hinges on this idea.