Oh, Lindy, hmmm, your hair isn't very tidy on the back ... Watch the posture! Quit slouching!... You're interrupting. Listen!... Don't be so hard on yourself. Get over it and move on... Did you really just do that? What are you thinking?... Turn that frown upside down...
It would be beneficial (maybe?) if we could step outside of ourselves and objectively observe. See what we look like when you take away the thought patterns that meander from one thing to the next. See how we come across based on our physical actions and not our internal intentions. And just plain see how distracting some of our shortcomings can be to others. Like a teacher's aid I had once with nose hairs down to his lips. Not mustache. Nose hairs. Very distracting.
Some people feel they are positive but their expressions or nervous habits make the contrary seen by others. You can sing happy songs in your head all day but if you don't smile at others they'll never know. You can desire to have great friends but if you don't give them your time they wont know they matter. You can have feelings of love for another but if you never disclose that in words or actions then your valentine might never be aware.
My daughter really makes me more attentive of how I want to come across and the many distractions that get in the way. She is a little parrot, copying everything that I do and say. She reminds me that I must focus on what is important. I don't need her to learn how to nag at her father (or her future husband). It is essential that I deal with things in a positive way.
I can get lost in my thoughts and my expression can become quite solemn. I will have someone ask me what's wrong and I then notice my furrowed brow or slumped shoulders. I have to work on it. I held tension in my face and neck for years and years and years. I can see it in the lines forming between my eyebrows, reminding me to stop frowning (hmmm... i think I am frowning right now). I remember when the lines started. I begged my husband to tell me any time I scowled so I could smooth my forehead and stop the process. I even contemplated taping it.
I'd tell you that my irritable, sometimes petulant expression is lying and I'm actually on cloud nine tickled pink. But that wouldn't be honest. I know joy and peace now but I still have my moments where worry and fear and judgement get the best of me. That's why I think watching a recording of myself would help. It would be a nice smack in the face telling me to lighten up and be kinder to others.
There really is no excuse. It doesn't matter how crappy I see my childhood. It doesn't matter how much I've been hurt or let down. It doesn't matter how bad a day I had or whether I am hungry or tired. People don't see the painful memories stirred up from a bad experience 20 years ago (and if they did they would just tell me to get over it). They aren't aware when a harmless comment lashes like painful truth.
How I feel is not how I come across. My focus is not what is seen by others. My intentions are not what shine. Only my actions. My body language. My words. What I do, in spite of any reasons behind my actions.
Say thank you when you feel thankful... Compliment when you think of it... Laugh when the urge arises... Forgive when you feel the push to do so... Smile, smile, smile...
Oh wait, stop smiling! You have food in your braces!