Led worship at church this weekend, and it was a fun, blessed time. You can’t not have a great time being in the presence of good folk, lifting up positive songs about redemption, love and grace. I took a couple pictures of my crew, because I like to have stuff to look back on, when I am having a harder day, and these little bread crumbs of encouragement sometimes are what will turn my frown upside down.

In examining one of the group selfies, I noticed how my mouth tends to pull down on the right side. I never really stopped to think about it. I feel empirically I have a decent smile, a lot like my mom’s. I inherited her lips and general facial structure, but my coloring is definitely my dad; olive skin and darker hair. When I would get school pictures or we would have professional shots taken of our family, my mother would express no end of irritation at the fact that I was “screwing up my mouth.” I had no idea what she was talking about. And until last night, had continued to think I might have been pulling some kind of passive-aggressive move on her, as kids that are angry will do.

But no.

As I looked intently at my selfie, there it was. I actually have a physical difference in my facial expression that changes the angle of my mouth when I smile. Sometimes it is more pronounced. Sometimes barely perceptible. Likely as a child, I didn’t even realize I could relax my facial muscles and balance it out. Perhaps a small thing, but it was definitely a lightbulb moment for me today.

In consideration of this realization, it spurs me on to be mindful of criticizing and becoming frustrated with others over things that they may not have any control over. That there are differences we all have that can be lovely to some, and annoying to others. The fact I am annoyed is something for ME to deal with. A good friend in recovery is fond of reminding me that when we are disturbed by someone or something externally, it is because there is a disturbance internally.

More work to do.

Hugs and smiles on a Sunday morning.