Dear Dr. Laura:
I heard you talking about how just smiling can make your happier, so I wanted to tell you a story about just that. In my first assignment as an Army nurse, I was stationed in what was then West Germany. The hospital was built on a system where there was one very, very long hall, and then many shorter halls sprouting off on either side of the long hall. The Germans built it in this manner so if a bomb fell, it wouldn't take out the whole hospital. Every day as I got ready to enter the ward on which I worked, I'd find all the usual cares and woes of life riding along on my shoulders. When I reached for the door handle, however, I would take a really deep breath, blow it all out, and then plaster on a huge smile. My patients didn't need to deal with my "stuff
," as I was there to help them through theirs.
So many of my patients commented that my big smile as I came through that door was one of the things (and sometimes the ONLY thing) that helped get them through some of the worst days of their lives. Taking care of "Jo
e" (the affectionate term we used to describe the "everyman
" soldier) was the best part of my life. I was so very honored to be entrusted with that responsibility. Plastering that smile on my face actually made ME happy - instantly! It really works. You find that you aren't just smiling, but you're giving your smile to someone else. It is then YOUR heart that benefits.
Hoo-ah and hugs,
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