For the past three days, I have woken up with Kirk Franklin’s song, Smile, on my mind. It’s like the cassette player in my subconscious mind is stuck on replay. Henewe, I love the song, so much that I could sing it all day and it will be relevant for every moment it echoes in my mind. My favorite lines are what make up the chorus. They are:
(I’ll be honest with you)
I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain,
fell from heaven like a shower now.
(When I think how much better I’m gonna be when this is over)
I smile, even though I hurt see I smile,
I know God is working so I smile,
Even though I’ve been here for a while (what you do?)
I smile, smile..
it’s so hard to look up when you’ve been down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now
You look so much better when you smile, so smile.
Kirk dedicates the song to recession, depression and unemployment. I wanna spread the dedication further. Hold up!
Ever feel like all hope is gone? Or like you just made the worst decision of your life? We all have that moment. For some, it comes from dealing with a whole lot of low self esteem, so they basically feel hopelessly helpless nearly all the time. They feel they cannot amount to anything good at all times, they constantly seek approval and, therefore, lack initiative. So there has to be someone telling them what to do all the time, always checking their work even if they are heavenly gifted. You cannot compliment such a person and they accept it, they will think it is flattery. Instead of a ‘Thank You’, they will ask for your affirmation with a word or phrase like “Really?’ or ‘Do you seriously mean that?’ If you are one of these people, smile. It is okay now. Believe me now, you are the best version of you and there is no one else like you. You are very capable just like those you think are better than you and you do not need anyone else’s approval to be or do anything. If you feel like trying out something new, go ahead.
Everyone is self-conscious, but not as bad as the one described above. You could be conscious about your body, your skin, your background, and even worse, a mistake you have made in the past; recent and far back. Some of these things haunt us far longer than they should. We are only human and I have come to learn that these mistakes are what make us human. No one was created to be perfect. Even Adam wasn’t perfect and God knew it, that is why he warned him about eating the forbidden fruit. And again, when he made the mistake and tried to hide from God, he was assured of life despite that grave mistake. Imagine disobeying God himself! How do you think Adam felt, hhmm? Today we indirectly disobey God. We disobey our fellow human beings because we forget their Godliness on earth, if we were living in a time like Adam’s, how would you react to mistakes you make? So c’mon, smile. It will all be okay, life goes on. Dust if off and learn the lessons, but don’t dwell on the bad moments. Move on.
For other people, the smile has faded because of a loss they suffered. This is one of the hardest to overcome. I have been there myself and God knows I was so depressed I never thought I would ever come out of it. But the He knows us better, He is our all powerful, all knowing Father. He created life as we know it, and he designed it that nothing lives forever away from Him. So am much as we receive what we love, we ought to also know that sooner or later, we will have to let it go. Everything and everyone goes back to him for life eternal. And while your thinking that you do not want to lose anyone or anything, others don’t want to lose you too. And do you know what? You don’t have to die for them to lose you, you just have to focus on the wrong thing or person or dwell too much on what’s gone and you will be lost to those you have today and now. Unfortunately, you lose them too in the process. So despite the loss, be grateful that you are still alive and well to receive more blessings and entrust what you lost in the hands of the Almighty God. He always gives back a hundred fold. Smile!
It could be that what you have feels insufficient or is half baked or you have been handicapped along the way. A lot of anger and frustration could arise from this. You may feel cornered and discriminated against, and feel it is very unfair to be subjected to whatever it is or even worse to be permanently scarred. But it doesn’t mean life comes to an end. As long as you are still alive, there is hope, don’t give up yet. It’s just one of those situations where the journey to your goal has a few bumps that you didn’t expect or hadn’t planned for, even if they have come up because of you. Change your strategy or your approach but don’t give up. Smile anyway and carry on.
Lastly, most of the time things get tough or hopeless for us because we didn’t have a sense of direction in the first place. There is a saying that “if you don’t know where you’re going, you will end up somewhere else. And it is very true that if you don’t know what to do with yourself, i.e. you have no defined goal or plan for your life, you will almost always spend your time building other people’s dreams. And in case you have not yet realised, it is very frustrating to constantly be chasing after dreams that are not yours. Why? Because you are not in control. The other person will always be on your back, pushing and nagging you to act like them, to do things the way they want them done as opposed to doing it in the most creative way that you know. Many of us are in this position considering we are employees, are still controlled by our parents and guardians directly or indirectly or we simply don’t have the courage to chase after our dreams. But again, just smile and take a deep breath, all hope is not lost. You can still pick yourself up and do things differently.
Many times we are a book away from smiling our biggest smiles. Or just a new kind of friend away, but we must let go of the usual ones who do not add value to our lives. And other times we are just a bad habit away from the good stuff. You have to figure out which habits and friends are holding you back, then change them or adjust accordingly and pick up new ones. But through it all, you have to know;
it’s so hard to look up when you’ve been down.
Even though you’ve been there for a while (what you do?)
That said, this song is dedicated to y’all who have lost someone important to you, who have been unfairly hurt and robbed of sleep for nights on end, and those who feel like you are inadequate in any way. Take it from me; You are Enough. You are beautiful. You are loved. And you are going to make it.