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Ever Smile At Yourself?

GYE Corp. Sunday, 15 January 2012

Someone writes on the forum

Lately, I'm practicing looking at my wife and smiling for a moment. In almost nine years of marriage, it's something I've hardly ever done. It sounds like a weird thing to 'practice' - but for sick people like me... what can I say?

Dov Responds:


Here is another idea... since you are working on looking at her and smiling for a minute, how about trying looking at your own face and into your own eyes in a mirror for ten seconds - and smiling. When was the last time you did that? Hey, we all are shelo lishma - we are first motivated by self-love rather than by love of another or of Hashem.... but I wonder where is all that self-love?!

I mean, how does it feel for most of us to spend 10 seconds looking at our own faces and into our own eyes in private in a mirror and trying to actually like that person we see. To feel what it is like to say (and mean), "Hey, you sweet, misguided child of Hashem. You are so sweet and good inside, so special and beautiful - and so confused. Nu. Keep trying. You are really a wonderful b'riyah and I love you, so I will do anything for you."

...what will you not do to save your life? Well. Why have so many of us never been really comfortable looking at our own faces and into our own eyes? After all, we are living with ourselves, aren't we? "Nine years of marriage", you say? I understand...but it wasn't until after about thirty-seven years of life, that I first succeeded looking at me and liking myself.

Nowadays, when I take a peek in the looking glass for a few seconds, I usually smile with an understanding smile and feel a mixture of nachas, pity, regret, and yearning for success, all rolled together. I leave the bathroom with a bigger smile than when I came in. All because of my step-work, thank-G-d.