The Happy Pumpkin Parable
by Christie Perkins
So, I found this pumpkin at the pumpkin patch. He was smiling. No one got a hold of him and forced him to smile but by natures own undertaking he was sharing a genuine smile.
I just had to bring him home with me so I bought the little guy and I let his attitude rub off on me. Yes, I understand it is just a pumpkin. Not a thing with actual feelings, or moments of frazzle, bad attitudes, or glorious moments of pizzaz. I get that. But there was something magical about him.
His smile was catchy. He smiled when we fought, when we had a bad day, when the house was a mess; when my piano music was off beat. He wasn’t mocking he was just seeing the good when maybe I couldn’t.
I’m a fan of this genuine little pumpkin man.
What Makes Your Smile Brighter?
Happiness in people (ahem… and in pumpkins) radiates and reflects. Do you notice how when someone else is smiling you can’t help but feel a little happier around them? I love it, believe in it, and try and live by it (except at 9:30 at night and my kids aren’t in bed yet, or the house is a mess, or… ok, so I’m working on it).
So I got to thinking. What made this pumpkin smile? There was a real reason he had this smile. No one inflicted it upon him but rather, it was the hard things in his surroundings that actually created the smile.
Hard things that bugged, ate at, and troubled him.
It wasn’t the sunshine but the rocks, sticks, bugs, and rubbing shoulders with the other pumpkin pals that formulated the smile. The smile didn’t appear because everything was perfect.
He had to roll around in the sticks and rocks to understand the good. It was the opposition that broke out that genuine smile. Enduring without getting all mushy; squooshy, icky, black. It is in rising above that he can lift his head and smile.
4 Unexpected Reasons to Smile
It’s easy to smile when life is going great. But have you tried to smile when life is getting you down. I believe it is a great tool of overcoming some of the most difficult moments in your life. Decide to add a little more sunshine on a gloomy day. Here’s how.
Improper Fertilization. Pumpkin imperfections can be caused by improper fertilization. Likewise, too much or too little of anything in our lives cause an imbalance. They leave monster holes in our heart. Learn from and fix it. Recognize where you are out of balance then make (and follow through with) a plan to get back on track. Find that smile again by being a little more balanced. Until then, just smile at your imperfections and make a point to perfect it at your very next attempt. Be patient.
Hail or Extreme Weather. Pumpkin scars may be formed by natural causes. Some things are just out of our control. We cannot change life’s little twisters and storms but how we react is the key to getting all mushy; squooshy, icky, black. Instead of choosing frustration, anger, or any other negative emotion simply choose to replace it with a smile. A smile is just an upside down umbrella in the storm. You wouldn’t think that an upside down umbrella works… but it does.
Bugs. Bugs chomping on pumpkins can also cause scars. There are daily things that just eat at us: sculptured toothpaste lids, stale milk glasses among your Halloween modge podge décor, missed targeted laundry flinging, living room shoe art (laziness is not considered art, nice try). You know, there are just things that just make us crawl with craziness. But the best bug spray is a smile and a little chuckle. Sure, it doesn’t fix it but it builds character by learning to smile when you just want to scream.
Hard Things. Branches, rocks, etc. that rub against the pumpkin’s skin can cause blemishes. Tough things are meant to shape us. This pumpkin literally smiled because of the hard things it came against. And because you experience the hard things you understand the sweetness a little better. What an awesome perspective to truly be able to taste and enjoy the sweetness a little more. I’ve learned there are many difficult moments but there are just as many sunshine moments. Recognize them when they come.
Apply the Happy Pumpkin Parable
A smile is catchy. Smile instead of fighting, or when you’re having a bad day, when the house is a mess, when the music in your life is not quite right. Try seeing the good when it seems impossible otherwise. It won’t take your troubles away, I know. But it will shift the way that you feel. Try it today at your very next irritating or tough moment. See how it works for you.
Do you agree? How has choosing to smile when it’s extra tough made a difference in the outcome of your situation? I’d love to hear your comments.
Have a better day.
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