Yes, that is the truth. I have a really nice smile. Beautiful, in fact.

People I don’t know tell me this fairly regularly. In fact, I am told this in the majority of instances in which I am connecting with someone face-to-face, and smiling. I don’t do a ton of each, and I would imagine that I’d get this complement more often if I engaged in those two activities — connecting and smiling — more often.

The circumstances don’t much matter. The beautiful smile doesn’t even much matter, really. What matters is that I no longer respond with all the ways they are wrong or mistaken or off somehow. I don’t tell them, as I used to in response, that it really isn’t all that beautiful or that it used to be more beautiful when I was younger.

No, I no longer respond with all the reasons why my smile is actually not beautiful.

Instead, I now do my best to respond with a grateful “Thank you.” And smile even bigger. 

You know what? I do have a beautiful smile. So I am going to own it for as long as I can.

Your beautiful smile may in fact not be a smile. It may in fact not even be something physical or on the outside. It may be something you do or something amazing you are on the inside. It could be your humor or your ability to bring perspective to any situation or, yes, your gorgeous eyes or scrumptious smell.

I don’t know what it is, but I know you do. As you read this, I know you know what your equivalent of a beautiful smile is. People remark on it so often you have forgotten just how unique and special and beautiful is is.

You brush it off, like it is no big deal.

But it is a big deal. A huge one! One I wish you’d own. One I wish you’d see and love like all the others do.

It shines, and so do you.

So, could you do me a favor and share it more with all of us? In return, I promise to smile more.

Thank you.