“Why don’t you smile, Aprajita?”
“Did you go through a tragic experience?”
“Hey, why is it that you have to try so hard to smile?”
These were the questions that I grew up with. The answers to which I didn’t want to confront for a very long time in my life because I knew how much that process affected me.
I knew I loved smiling, giggling, laughing and even making a fool out of myself for that matter. Well, who doesn’t?
Until I was in my late teens, I used to smile but I made sure to never open my mouth when doing so, I used to laugh but covering my mouth with my hands.
Despite my happy emotions asked me to crazy at times, I always held myself back. Even when I smiled or laughed, I quickly got back to my normal state because I didn’t want to embarrass myself.
Then at one point in my life, I met a girl called Prativa Ghimire. We happened to be friends in a coaching class. She observed me cover my mouth while laughing, many times.
One day when I was about to do the same, she caught my hand and stopped me, “I’ve noticed you do that often. Don’t! Maybe you’re conscious because of your crooked teeth but it makes you look beautiful. So, show it often.”
Although those words didn’t seem to be be so powerful back then; when I reflect back at my life today, I realize how that episode changed a self-defeating perception that I had nurtured for long.
That day and the days that follow, led me towards understanding one of the biggest lessons of my life, the importance of ‘self-acceptance’.
Most of us, consciously or unconsciously are in wait of that Prativa to tell us that we are perfect, the way we are. But, just take a moment to imagine – if we learned how to accept ourselves right from the beginning in our conscious lives, we would make the process of living so much simpler and joyful, wouldn’t we?