When all that is left is a smile
My smile is my umbrella. 

This silent smile, which hints at knowing some deep delicious secret.  The smile that keeps people in their place and me in mine. It certainly doesn’t invite further inquiry.

What can you truly ask someone whose smile never falls? Who tells you it’s all fine. It’s always fine. 

Who makes you feel unprepared, ravaged by storm and nature and all things messy.

Because you can’t just smile when things are not fine. So you stay away. And I smile, because it worked.

My smile is my umbrella. 

It deflects the world’s weather with an air of independence. The “I’m fine” of unaffectedness.

Under it I can no longer feel the sun soaking hot into my bare skin, I can’t feel the soft kisses of the raindrops on my freshly dried hair or glimpse the twinkling of the stars in the heavens.

I can only feel the wind rushing about me and catching my hair up in swirls and tangles when the storms come and I lean in hard and try to hold on.

An umbrella does nothing to protect against winds of gale force. They crumple like folded paper or  gather the wind like sails, pulling your arms high and loose and drag you while you clutch or flail. 

It’s silly really, this idea that we are supposed to grin and bare it while our world deteriorates around us.Or inside us. And I wonder at your smile.

Are you fine? Maybe.

Or maybe you stopped feeling at all. Maybe you are drifting through your days in a fog of duty, of carpool lanes,  date night, and second service on Sundays because mornings are so tough, and eyes so hard to open after nights when sleep doesn’t come.

Maybe you go through the motions because the motions are all you have to keep you from never getting out of bed again.

Maybe you are tired, so very tired.

Maybe you never say, “No, I’m not fine. Far from it. It’s hard, this life stuff and this ridiculous umbrella is getting heavy,” and the corners of your mouth begin to drag low and down and you almost tell the truth. Tell it all and don’t worry about the response.

Because it is so hard and maybe they know the hard too. But maybe they don’t know storms and messy hair and blinding gusts whipping you senseless.

Maybe you should just smile and tell them you’re fine.

Because no one can touch you, the rain bounces merrily from your canopy while you feel only the rushing of the wind blocking out all sound.

And in that moment you wonder, perhaps it would be better to get wet? Sopping, sloppy, soaked, and cold. Drenched through or blushing pink from the sun’s bath and not try to maintain an order that doesn’t really exist.

My smile is my umbrella.
 Shani
  I have been a member of ChristianBlog.Com for 9 years, 2 months and 5 days.

  I have published 92 blogs and 269 comments.

 I currently live in: Australia.
K Reynolds+

Sometimes when you put down that umbrella, people look at you and scold you. They scold you for getting out from under the umbrella. They scold you for looking wet, windblown and messy. They shift uneasily, praying that the wind does not catch their umbrella and whip it away exposing that they too are wet, windblown and messy for their umbrella is not sufficient enough to protect them in the stormy gales.

In the natural world, without the rain, things are in danger of withering away and dying. Can this also be true in the spiritual realm?

*K :princess: takes Shani by the hand...

Would you like to go and splash around in some puddles? Can you smell the freshness of the rain-drenched grass? Oh, Shani! Look at the ducks paddling around over there! C'mon, let's go have a look!

Blessings!

K :princess:

joyce+

The thing is that same weather that soaks you and blows you to bits, is also the same weather that dries you out, kisses you with the sun and sends a soft breeze to keep you from getting burnt.

This is what God does. Allowing Him to drench us and buffet us is the only way to ensure that we are "fine" in the long run.. does this make sense?

But we do have to admit to Him that we are not "Fine" . You know this old stiff upper lip, keep smiling when you are falling apart... its nonsense, we still fall apart, its just harder for someone to help us get fixed.

Phillip Jones

You make me weep, and I hate that. I don't like feeling someone elses sorrow it reminds me of my own. I don't want to care because when we care it hurts. I don't want to open my heart to someone elses pain, I don't like pain. Now I can't see the smile or the umbrella only the raw sorrow of existance. We know there is no magic bean but there are giants who smell our blood and crush us with the weight of the universe making us gasp and struggle to breath. Is it possible to take the pain and wrap it in duck tape layer upon layer and then lock it in a vault and through away the key. How simple that would be if it were possible. There is a light and the darkness cannot hide it, perhaps small and glimmering just a pinpoint but it is there I know because I can see it. Just there not quite within reach but that light gives me life day by day by day and sometimes only minute by minute or hour by hour but it never fails.

Deborah Pinnell+

GOD can see through umbrellas. He knows what we hide from others and HE can teach us how to be real with each other. Sometimes we just don't want the whole world to know that we cry and we hurt, but most of them know a fake smile when they see it. We aren't fooling anyone, only our selves when we fake joy. Joy comes in the morning after a night of sorrows. GOD will turn that frown upside down and make you smile for real. I like your blog by the way.

Beth+

Shani, Lovely! I am so blessed to know you ~ you are such a blessing, you know that, don't you? You are special and dear, unique in all of God's Creation, special and dear to me, and most importantly, to God. Thanks for letting us into your life and sometimes under your umbrella. blessings, Lovely, and one large Hug blest

Grey Warner

I just found this tonight and I am thankful for it because I can relate! For some time now I have been feeling like people like me better when I just put my "smile" on, ask what I can do for THEM, and keep my problems to myself. Like 'Being squished" by barbkaye, I am finding my "inner self" to be quite lonely as I try to balance my outward me and the inward, broken me. I do have some around me who love me, but they are so burdened with their own problems I hate to add mine. More and more I find myself drawing away from people, almost putting up a wall because I can't put on the smile as easily and as long as I used to and I am exhausted from trying. To break down and actually expose my fragile, vulnerable self is very hard, and not always met with the sensitivity it needs... so, it is "safer" to just build up a wall to protect from any further damage and pain. One day recently I was having a down day thinking how the "outside" me was such a disappointment... the me I want to be and the me that I am are two totally different beings and I don't see them ever evolving into being the same. But I had to think that God knows the "inside" me... He knows my desires, wishes, hurts,etc. and in that I found comfort. Not that it changes any circumstance, but it was just comforting to know that "someone" knew ME..who I want to be... understands my pain... never grows tired of my cries... is always available and willing to comfort and to love. :butterfly: Thank you shani! You have a beautiful way with words!

Beth+

All these years later. So much has happened. I understand that umbrella better than ever because I use it at times, for completely different reasons.

Love you, Lovely.