The Cavity, Part Two

I experienced a deeper level of understanding about the discovery of a large black cavity between my two front teeth. I remembered the pain, the loneliness and the horror at finding this corrosion between my teeth. The reality that I did not know what to do about it, except to decide to remember to not show my teeth when I smiled; was how far I got last time.

Then, I realized it had had a much larger impact. I had decided to remember to not show my teeth when I smiled. I took my own smile away years ago. Now, when I try to smile “naturally” in the mirror, the muscles that could’ve been well maintained over the years, simply aren’t. I don’t smile with my entire face because it has always been more important to hide my teeth.

I can look back now and recognize that this had repercussions during my entire life. The summer that I had my one and only true, deep love I have distinct memories of squishing my face up in the centre into a mock smile so that I could fully smile and still not show my teeth. I remember him mentioning that I did not show my teeth. I was not forthcoming as to why.

Teeth

When that first awareness of your own appearance is just occurring and you discover you are not attractive, to the point of needing to hide, it has a profound impact on your sense of beauty. I know that for years I thought that I was hideous, just to see a photo of myself and realize that I never was.

During a formative time in my career, I missed an important dinner that was scheduled so that I could meet a partner in the business that I was working for. I didn’t go because a filling had just fallen out of my front tooth and the gaping hole was too embarrassing for me to proceed with the meeting. I should have been at that meeting, if for no other reason than to gain the experience of being at an important meeting.

Perception became reality. I lived an experience of feeling like I was unattractive. I had something to be embarrassed about, despite the reality. Funny thing. The happy ending to this story is that my front teeth continued to deteriorate. I’m getting to the funny part, just be patient. Each time that I replaced a filling, more of the original tooth would be lost and over a lifetime, that is a lot of tooth. Recently, about the time that I wrote my first story about the cavity, my middle tooth broke on a Friday and the one beside it a day and a half later. I had to have them capped this time, or risk needing full implants when they could no longer be repaired.

I have found myself explaining to people the reason that my new teeth don’t seem so different is because I had always made a point of not showing anyone my real teeth. I promised myself repeatedly, that I’d do my best to not show how ugly my front teeth were when I smile. There is still an active reminder that comes up when I am in the process of smiling. Now, I just have to relax and let myself smile fully so that I can build those muscles back up and stop looking ridiculous trying to remember how to smile naturally.

Aren’t they irritating?

IMG_3554

If you ever notice yourself in a situation where you find someone’s behaviour irritating, stop and write it down. We all know the feeling of being rubbed the wrong way. The person acts in a way that gets under our skin and we dislike them because of it. If you experience this you’ve struck gold.

There are, for purposes of this discussion, two parts to the way you experience the world. One is through sensations in your body and the other is through how we explain our world to ourselves using words. The sensations part does not have direct access to the word generating part of our brain and must communicate through body signals. It is more difficult to hear and understand messages that are communicated this way, but that is where the irritation comes in. You experience the other person as irritating because you are trying to tell yourself something that you have noticed about them.

Sometimes a person can be irritating because they allow themselves to do things that you don’t allow yourself to do. They aren’t following the rules, as you understand them. It may be that you are trying to tell yourself that you are too strict about the rules, not allowing spontaneity and joy to enter your own life. The body  is trying to tell you this  and the emotion of irritation is how it is delivering the message.

Another friend found people that were preoccupied with how busy they were irritating. Then she discovered that she had entered a part of her life that was causing her to be too busy. The message may be subtle and easy to shrug off like any unpleasant encounter, but it is worth listening to.

Take a moment when you have a chance to reflect, and read what you have written. Try to write down, as well as you can, what irritated you about this person. Why was that irritating? Why do you feel it is unacceptable? How do these judgements relate to your own decisions? This irritating person may be just what you need to understand yourself a little better.

The Cavity, Part Two

I experienced a deeper level of understanding about the discovery of a large black cavity between my two front teeth. I remembered the pain, the loneliness and the horror at finding this corrosion between my teeth. The reality that I did not know what to do about it, except to decide to remember to not show my teeth when I smiled; was how far I got last time.

Then, I realized it had had a much larger impact. I had decided to remember to not show my teeth when I smiled. I took my own smile away years ago. Now, when I try to smile “naturally” in the mirror, the muscles that could’ve been well maintained over the years, simply aren’t. I don’t smile with my entire face because it has always been more important to hide my teeth.

I can look back now and recognize that this had repercussions during my entire life. The summer that I had my one and only true, deep love I have distinct memories of squishing my face up in the centre into a mock smile so that I could fully smile and still not show my teeth. I remember him mentioning that I did not show my teeth. I was not forthcoming as to why.

Teeth

When that first awareness of your own appearance is just occurring and you discover you are not attractive, to the point of needing to hide, it has a profound impact on your sense of beauty. I know that for years I thought that I was hideous, just to see a photo of myself and realize that I never was.

During a formative time in my career, I missed an important dinner that was scheduled so that I could meet a partner in the business that I was working for. I didn’t go because a filling had just fallen out of my front tooth and the gaping hole was too embarrassing for me to proceed with the meeting. I should have been at that meeting, if for no other reason than to gain the experience of being at an important meeting.

Perception became reality. I lived an experience of feeling like I was unattractive. I had something to be embarrassed about, despite the reality. Funny thing. The happy ending to this story is that my front teeth continued to deteriorate. I’m getting to the funny part, just be patient. Each time that I replaced a filling, more of the original tooth would be lost and over a lifetime, that is a lot of tooth. Recently, about the time that I wrote my first story about the cavity, my middle tooth broke on a Friday and the one beside it a day and a half later. I had to have them capped this time, or risk needing full implants when they could no longer be repaired.

I have found myself explaining to people the reason that my new teeth don’t seem so different is because I had always made a point of not showing anyone my real teeth. I promised myself repeatedly, that I’d do my best to not show how ugly my front teeth were when I smile. There is still an active reminder that comes up when I am in the process of smiling. Now, I just have to relax and let myself smile fully so that I can build those muscles back up and stop looking ridiculous trying to remember how to smile naturally.

The Cavity, Part Two

I experienced a deeper level of understanding about the discovery of a large black cavity between my two front teeth. I remembered the pain, the loneliness and the horror at finding this corrosion between my teeth. The reality that I did not know what to do about it, except to decide to remember to not show my teeth when I smiled; was how far I got last time.

Then, I realized it had had a much larger impact. I had decided to remember to not show my teeth when I smiled. I took my own smile away years ago. Now, when I try to smile “naturally” in the mirror, the muscles that could’ve been well maintained over the years, simply aren’t. I don’t smile with my entire face because it has always been more important to hide my teeth.

I can look back now and recognize that this had repercussions during my entire life. The summer that I had my one and only true, deep love I have distinct memories of squishing my face up in the centre into a mock smile so that I could fully smile and still not show my teeth. I remember him mentioning that I did not show my teeth. I was not forthcoming as to why.

Teeth

When that first awareness of your own appearance is just occurring and you discover you are not attractive, to the point of needing to hide, it has a profound impact on your sense of beauty. I know that for years I thought that I was hideous, just to see a photo of myself and realize that I never was.

During a formative time in my career, I missed an important dinner that was scheduled so that I could meet a partner in the business that I was working for. I didn’t go because a filling had just fallen out of my front tooth and the gaping hole was too embarrassing for me to proceed with the meeting. I should have been at that meeting, if for no other reason than to gain the experience of being at an important meeting.

Perception became reality. I lived an experience of feeling like I was unattractive. I had something to be embarrassed about, despite the reality. Funny thing. The happy ending to this story is that my front teeth continued to deteriorate. I’m getting to the funny part, just be patient. Each time that I replaced a filling, more of the original tooth would be lost and over a lifetime, that is a lot of tooth. Recently, about the time that I wrote my first story about the cavity, my middle tooth broke on a Friday and the one beside it a day and a half later. I had to have them capped this time, or risk needing full implants when they could no longer be repaired.

I have found myself explaining to people the reason that my new teeth don’t seem so different is because I had always made a point of not showing anyone my real teeth. I promised myself repeatedly, that I’d do my best to not show how ugly my front teeth were when I smile. There is still an active reminder that comes up when I am in the process of smiling. Now, I just have to relax and let myself smile fully so that I can build those muscles back up and stop looking ridiculous trying to remember how to smile naturally.