If you cry well.
The art of smiling is, like all arts, a practiced skill. And it is in direct proportion to how well you let yourself cry. One cannot exist without the other. Smiling and crying. They are the ying and the yang. The white that wouldn't know light without the black. Laughter that has never know tears is false at worst, and shallow at best. Can you smile well if you've never really let yourself cry?
The same is true even for characters in books. Without the angst we cannot relate. But true smiling that rises like dawn after the witching small hours of night is full of truth. That kind of smile holds all of the human condition and still chooses to show itself in the moment. It is a smile you can smile back at. Smile with. And smile because of.
If you look past perfection.
It is a smile in the silliness of little things. The ability to appreciate feathers, even if the fall in the mud. And butter flies, though they live such a short time. It is the baby that sucks his toes and the toddler with cake all over her face. And your walls. It is the tickle from your husband, though he leaves his stubble in your sink. It is the cuddle from your best friend. The a cup of tea with your Mum. Even though both are human. Imperfect. Flawed. Just like you. And there in lies the art of smiling.
A smile breeds in the reality of imperfection. Once you know what it is to grieve, you can know what is to laugh. Each day baths us in at least one moment of just being. And if you catch that moment, really hold it against your body, it might just be soft enough to practice the art of smiling.
What about you? What can you share about the art of smiling?