“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” – Mark Twain
Life is a mosaic of a million smaller moments. Every experience from our past critically fits to complete the overall picture of our lives; and the possibility our lives hold as we go forward.
Some moments are extraordinarily beneficial: like the first time you learned to tie your shoes. Other moments are packed with wonderful memories: like my family playing at the beach on vacation last week.
There are countless other moments that fill your mosaic; the ones in which you experienced challenge and adversity; that you’ve completely forgotten; and still those that changed the course of your life.
The sum of your moments is both the composite of the life you’ve lived and the foundation for the life you can imagine for tomorrow. Last week, I overheard commentary on the television about a celebrity that completely defied this truth.
“She looks great, so youthful! Sixty-years-old, look at those legs, and not a wrinkle on her face. I am jealous!”
I stood there, getting ready for work, wishing I could step into the television, join the conversation and say, “By 60, if you don’t have wrinkles on your face it’s not the sign of youthfulness; it is evidence of surgery.”
My friend, your wrinkles are reminders of your perfectly imperfect life and journey. They tell stories of difficult yesterdays you survived.
They remind you of challenges faced growing up, losing loved one, struggling through adversity, enduring pain and rising above it all. They remind you that life can be challenging, but remains an absolute gift.
Your wrinkles serve as a map of the numerous blessings enjoyed along the journey, too.
They were first born in those big smiles from your childhood birthday parties and class pictures. They grew during those cheeky, constant grins of adolescence. They made their first appearance during a graduation, party or romance during your early adult life.
Your wrinkles expanded during moments of inspiration: the first time you saw mountains, your amazement over the grandeur of the ocean, your awe observing a sunset. They broadened during pregnancy, holding that little baby and wondering when she grew up without you knowing it.
Each moment, experience, heartache and celebration etches itself into your soul and surfaces beautifully through the the wrinkles on your face. These wrinkles aren’t to be disdained but celebrated!
What if in seeing them in the mirror you remembered the moments of great joy when you thrived? What if they reminded you of moments of total bliss? What if they reminded you of intense pain and how you are still here, still standing, still fighting and wiser than ever?
Instead of hiding from your wrinkles: celebrate them.
Today, make sure you make a few new wrinkles. Let your smile lines give away the joy that is in your heart, in your past and in your future! People may not remark on your legs or wrinkle-free face, but be assured they will be ignited by your joy and inspired to discover it for themselves.
What is one moment you’ve had in which a wrinkle was born? Could be the last time you saw old friends and laughed for hours reminiscing or a recent medical diagnosis that made you dig deeper and work harder than ever before. Whatever wrinkle-starting moment it is: share it with us in the comments on my blog and with your friends and family. This is the moment to celebrate our lives and our wrinkles.