The Reason Why I Smile
Monday, January 16, 2012
By Soltreu
 
Life is a fascinating journey filled with lessons to be learned, love to be had, and wisdom to be gained. One thing I am learning from my journey of life is my experiences can be my triumph or downfall. My life's story could have easily caused a negative turning point or an early end. I have had some embarrassing moments, but I choose to share them in hopes of helping others. I wrote a poem entitled, The Reason Why I Smile. It is my most personal piece where I share many tragedies I have been through and overcome. I am pretty open about things I have been through because I hope to be an inspiration. I desire for people to see there is a wonderful life even after a tragic moment. 
 
When I was four, I was hit by a car breaking every bone in my body and collapsing my lungs. Some say I even saw “the light” and died.  At five, my father was murdered but was not found until I was six years old. This was one week before my cousin, who was like a brother, had a seizure in a swimming pool at the age of eighteen and died. In the 90s another cousin was murdered in The St. Aubin St, Massacre. I was seventeen when my grandmother died and my mother fell ill causing my heart to freeze with fear of losing her as well. In 1998, my grandfather, the only father I remember, died. In November of 2002, I was drugged and raped by three thugs, and for years blamed myself for the event. In March 2003, I was shot in the face leaving me partially blinded in my right eye with fractured bones and numbness in my face from the nerves being shot out. Between 2007 and 2008, I lost my job, my house, and my SUV. I popped a pill too many for a few months ended up in the mental ward of the hospital for a few days and thought I would lose my mind.
 
One morning at 5am during the summer of 2010, I was awakened by these thoughts which became the beginning of my most personal piece.. Initially I wanted to cry my sorrows away, until I realized these events were behind me. As I typed this testimony, I kept asking myself, “How did you survive this?” I am still unsure if I truly understand the full answer, but what I do know is the survival of each event in my life is the reason why I am able to smile every day. I do not have to always remind myself of the bad in order to feel the good. All I need is the joy in my heart and the smile on my face as my signature of how beautiful life can be.
 
I have always had an infectious smile, and people would always ask me, “Why are you always smiling?” Smiling is my strength like Samson's hair was his strength from one of the stories in The Old Testament. As I look back over my life especially through the poem I wrote, I am convinced that GOD has given me something to take pride in which is my strength in the face of adversity. In the past, I have begged The Lord to take my life through much of my pain, but I am still here. I now understand that I am here as a true testimony that you can survive anything. 
 
Your life may not be as tragic as mine has been or it may be worse. I truly feel once you get over that initial hump of an incident, it becomes your past. The reason why I smile is because I have won another incident that could have brought me to my death or could have taken my sanity. I am a survivor who is able to live with a renewed way of thinking. My past could have been my downfall but instead it is a tool to show others that “this too shall pass”.
 
The journey of my life has not been an easy one. I have failed at many things, but I have also learned from my failures. I am able to put them to rest or try life until I get it right. My faith in a Higher Power is shown through my smile. Jesus is smiling through me giving me a strength and testimony that cannot be touched. My outer shell can be bruised and beaten, but my heart remains strong. My strength is my smile. I feel the warmth of my Savior's love in every upward movement of my lips. I live to fight another day, love myself and others, and climb another stair getting closer to all of my dreams. That is truly the reason why I smile, and I hope that surviving your own demons or tragic hiccups in life is the reason why you smile as well.
 
The reason why I SMILE
Has nothing to do with the sun rising
there were many times
I asked, begged, prayed for my sun NOT to rise
“LORD, let me live amongst the Angels, I'll b more productive that way”
Many a night, I kneeled in a submissive position begging for The LORD to take my life, “I don't care how I go, just bring me to YOU; I can no longer DO THIS … LIFE, I hate mine!”
 
The reason why I SMILE
THE LORD saw strength in my struggles
HE knew that which does not KILL me only strengthens me
HE never puts more on you then you can handle
He knew all of that and read all of that
BUT how many times had I truly believed HE had it wrong?
The reason why I SMILE
 
GOD put a large piece of himself inside me
And forced me to press on through the heartaches and heartbreaks
Press on through the friendly betrayals and back stabbings
Press on through the denial of the pursuit of my own dreams
Press on when every other thing in my life seemed to be failing and falling
 
The reason why I SMILE
Has nothing to do with waking up in the morning
But EVERYTHING to do with surviving the hell I felt during my nights
 
The reason why I SMILE
Is the same reason
I remain
Open
Unashamed
Honest 
and hopeful with no time to impress anyone with empty compliments
 
The reason why I SMILE
HE saw my strength when I thought I was weak
HE saw my heart growing while I was tearing it apart
HE saw this dirty pearl and filthy piece of coal and allowed a diamond to come out of it
 
The reason why I SMILE
Because HE put a song in my heart that I did not ask for
HE brought me through my own personal death and allowed me to rise not after 3 days but after several decades of living with depression and gave me a SMILE that warms the hearts and touches the lives of those my smile meets
HE allowed me to climb out of the pits of hell
Where I was headed
And set me on top of THIS world
Making me BEYOND this world as a tool to bring JOY to the masses
 
I am not here because I am good
I am here because HE is good and said IT was good
Time and time again, my life was spared
Not for me but for HIS Glory to show those in need that you too will survive
 
The reason why I SMILE
I smile because I forgot HOW to frown
BUT even my frowns would be upside down
I smile because I am NOW happy
Filled with joy
Never able to look down at my past TODAY
 
I smile because I walked, laid, sat, slept in the fire and came out … WHOLE and forgiven … SINS, forgotten
No longer ashamed or afraid of what the world would think if they knew these things so
Once again I share and repent giving the devil my most prestigious finger and to him I say,
 
It was written. I'm a survivor continuously striving to thrive n this jungle while u unsuccessfully attempt to steal that which u fell from: His Mercy His Love and His Grace and with your hate tried to replace BUT my smile is GOlDen I'm His Beholden proving to this world that anyone can be saved from any situation, so my smile is a display of my heart that was created for His Glory and my salvation
 
The Reason Why I Smile is simply because JESUS is smiling through me giving me a Peace that runs completely through me and I'll forever be grateful -never again allowing Satan to pull me down because I know it was written, and I've already won the crown.
 
Soltreu is the author of 3 poetry books. She is currently working on her first novel "Dreams Deferred" to be released in 2012. She can be reached at dlgarrett7@yahoo.com or SoltreuFree YourSoul on Facebook.
 
This was printed in the January 15, 2012 - January 28, 2012 Edition
 

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