Your Attitude and Your Face

Faces

It is said that Abraham Lincoln, when he was President of the U.S., was advised to include a certain man in his cabinet. When he refused he was asked why he would not accept him. "I don't like his face," the President replied. "But the poor man isn't responsible for his face," responded his advocate. "Every man over forty is responsible for his face" countered Lincoln.

I heard this years ago, can’t remember when or where, but it always stuck with me. Here I am at age 67 and over the past decades at times I look in the mirror and if I happen to be frowning or if I see a recent photo that I don’t like, I say to myself; “who is that and what happened to the face I recognize?”

Whenever that happens it acts like a kick in the pants to me. I know it means that I’m being lazy with my thoughts and have been allowing worry, concern, and negative impressions to crowd out the happy, optimistic, and positive ones. 

Clearly, what I think about the most is showing on my face. I don’t like it, but that’s the way it is. So since I want to look more like the person I think I am, I have to ‘face’ it. (Sorry for the pun). Here's how I do it...

3/11/2015 7:00:00 AM
Janet Valenty
Written by Janet Valenty
Former medical technologist with extensive drug testing and clinical chemistry experience. Traded the white coat for a business suit as Director of Marketing of a leading clinical lab with two billion in revenues and left that way back in the 90's. These days, doing more reading and publishing when not chasing grandchild...
View Full Profile

Comments
And yes you can replace negative thoughts with blank space. That blank space is the canvas where new ideas are born. Meditation daily is necessary to nurture it. You can train your brain to allow blank space. But if you don't have your morals and ethical behavior in check it becomes an obstacle. So the need to replace negative thoughts with positive ones not only can breed Internet addiction but is the mindset; dead giveaway so to speak, of your unethical behavioral roots. And with the free flow of universal consciousness, there is a whole new level of responsibility for the thoughts you put out there. And where they come from.
Posted by Mxhl
This is a wonderful reminder. But what if someone with different life experiences and perceptions thinks what they are doing is good and wants to share it (wonderful) but deep down the intended message is do it my way or I will force it upon you. Then in fact they (whether consciously or unconsciously) are using transference to place what they don't want to see in the mirror on you? Basic counter-transference. You challenge certain people and they subconsciously lash out in this behavior. And it becomes a battle of wits. Few are aware of such subtle underlying elements of their best ideas because they are rooted in self-centeredness and selfish gain. It takes conscious effort to rid oneself of the base standard of selfish gain as a motivator. It's different from personal needs like money, love, shelter, etc. And it is strugglesome at first, certainly not going to put a peaceful expression on your face. But being giving aware of it can push you past it as it moves into the mainframe of your mind and you can find new things to experience happy about.
Posted by Mxhl
It's not surprising to me to stop and read this article. I needed to be reminded my attitude, my face. God always gently reminds you to live a life that reflects him. I do smile more knowing that. I love this article and will continue to try and make that conscious effort, besides when He wakes you up each day sick or well, happy or sad, with or without, it's still another day, another chance! :)
Posted by Johnna
I agree that your attitude can make a big difference. Smiling at someone makes them smile, and a smile can make your face look much better. I got terribly white skin, from far northern European grandparents. I almost glow in the dark, I'm so white. My skin is either white or red; there are no other colors. But, thanks to SPF15 EVERY DAY (SPF70 in summer sun), and active moisturizing with a lotion that contains glycerin to pull water out of the air and put it into skin, I have to pull out my birth certificate to get a senior discount. They think I'm 50, but I'm 70, almost 71. Getting "carded" that way also brings a smile to my face. SPF15 and moisturizing for the last 3 decades DOES work.
Posted by Oregon Nancy
I think that it is a good idea if you can just think long enough to remember this every day. Even better might be to couple it with some self affirming messages like 'you are doing great' or 'you can handle it'. I'm a caregiver and overwhelmed often, so just having the time to REMEMBER to do this is challenging.
People who work at jobs which are detail oriented, or involve research or number crunching seem to develop the frown lines from concentrating.
Also everyone needs to remember that those who are in constant pain from illness, or have to deal with poverty often have it show in their faces.
This is why people in third world countries - even the small children - have the haunted and worried look.
Posted by Sher
I realized many years ago that when other drivers see me smiling in my car, they tend to do the same. I started singing a couple of silly songs when I drive to keep spreading good feelings. Now that I mostly ride buses, I share some of my favorite corny (but smart) jokes and riddles with fellow passengers. Rarely does a week go by when I'm not told that I have a happy/cheerful spirit. A week ago I was interviewed; and the interviewer didn't initially believe that I was 55 years old. All this smiling keeps my brain happy and my face many years younger than me. :)
Posted by JMM
Yes. The stresses can sneak up on us pretty easily. And it takes a toll the body if we let it. My reason for monitoring this for myself is exactly the same as yours. My granddaughter!
Posted by Diana
If I didn't have to worry about my husband's loss of Medicaid, let alone his loss to access of LIFE-SAVING DRUGS such as 2 types of insulin for his type I diabetes of 48+/-yrs, his heart conditions, loss of 20% of heart function loss that causes issues w/the diabetes & heart conditions, along with the diabetic neuropathy & severe arthritis not to mention having Binder & Binder screwing us over with regards to obtaining his SSDI in order for him to receive at least enough to help me and the SSDI I receive due to blindness (later diagnosed w/Lupus (SLE), Sjogren's, Fibro, & Osteoarthritis in severe stages) in order to keep our home & raise our teenager who will graduate this year w/high honors & as a member of the Nat. High School Honors Society (middle school honors society too), and as the 50th editor-in-chief of the Yearbook Staff Club not to mention the inability we have of granting the only graduation gift she wants yet refuses to tell us outright b/c she knows we are struggling financially... Our faces wouldn't show so much worry, pain, and downright anger!

We didn't ask to get sick or have genetic diseases take over our bodies; it happened and we had no control yet we are being punished by the system despite having worked & paid taxes since we were 8-9 years old working! We both worked on farms although in addition, I worked on the water with trawling cruises, setting/pulling my own nets & crab pots as well as repairing them & adding zinc bars to the crab pots since salt water destroys them over time. I've also worked as a waitress, construction worker, in various factories and even as an adult before I met my the man I would share a lifetime with, I was raising & supporting a younger sibling-turn-son after we got away from our biological abusive parents where one was an abusive alcoholic who hit us both tho' I did pick fights to keep our bio father off my younger sibling & the other parent was an enabler who literally threw us under the bus & painted a bulls-eye on our backs w/her husband, our bio abusive alcoholic father.

I had to work 2, 3, & even 4 jobs to support us including working as a barmaid 6 nights a week just to keep him in school, even though I quit to work but later went back when I had built a bit of a nest egg but not enough to allow me to go without working b/c the bills came every month & I had to keep a vehicle on the road. I worked all these jobs, including working as a barmaid to do whatever I needed to do to support my family. It wasn't until years later when I was able to work in an office with my only 2nd job was at my husband's side helping him sort work orders to prevent him from wasting gas as we wrote a simple program that separated order street addresses so we could punch up a few parameters to bring up accts in the same area rather than working nilly-willy. He is upset today because he can't work due to his health - problems that like me, he doesn't want but can't control!

I'm glad you have so much to be happy about but as for us, we are on the verge of losing everything, including my HUSBAND'S LIFE! The 2 INSULIN TYPES HE TAKES, HEART MEDS, & OTHERS ARE ALL THAT IS KEEPING HIM ALIVE AND MY SSDI IS ALL THAT IS PAYING THE BILLS INCLUDING THE MORTGAGE AND AGAIN, WE MIGHT END UP LOSING THAT AS WELL! WE DIDN'T ASK FOR IT - SHIT JUST HAPPENS AND SO FAR, WE ARE BEING TREATED AS IF IT IS ALL OUR FAULT AND HOW DARE WE ASK FOR DISABILITY FOR THIS MAN WHO CANNOT WORK ANY LONGER DESPITE HIS HAVING WORKED IN THE OUTSIDE WEATHER WHEN HE WAS TOO SICK TO BE OUTSIDE BUT HE DID IT BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IT WAS HIS JOB AS A HUSBAND AND FATHER!

He is slowly giving up and when that begins to happen, in addition to being unable to get the live-saving medications he takes, it's not a good thing b/c it means he will begin to stop fighting to live - not even for his family...

Again, I'm glad you have had such a cherry-pie life. Others of us are not as fortunate!
Posted by Sammy-Jo
Thank you...I have looked in the mirror, or worse, seen pictures of myself...and I look so tense, so harsh, so judgmental...and so I was for much of my life. I have to re-train my face now...because that is not the legacyI want to be remembered by.
Posted by Corina
This is stupid and Lincoln was too in this aspect to say such a thing.
Posted by s
View all 11 comments

Related Keywords

Wellness.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment nor do we verify or endorse any specific business or professional listed on the site. Wellness.com does not verify the accuracy or efficacy of user generated content, reviews, ratings or any published content on the site. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use.
©2021 Wellness®.com is a registered trademark of Wellness.com, Inc. Powered by Earnware