Are you happy?

I was told recently that my brother-in-law asked his mother-in-law (my mother) if she was happy whilst on holiday with her this summer.

My mother, I am told answered that she was happy, thank you,

My brother-in-law said to her “Well, if that is the case, will you tell your face that”

This may seem harsh to a reader looking at this without understanding the two people involved, but as I am naturally acquainted with both of these relatives, and their respective sense of humour, I can assure you that this was a very amusing exchange between them.

What interested me about the exchange, which I reflected upon after hearing it, is our own capacity to keep things hidden from our expression, sometimes suppressing a giggle, but more often suppressing a tear.

My life has involved shielding my truth from the world and although in recent years I have been able to explain my truth, in respect of my sexuality, to my wife and close family members, there are times when I feel very anguished in my isolation and fear and yet on the surface  – the face I present to the world each day is happy and jovial.

I know that wearing a smile does not necessarily mean that I am happy, but someone taking the time to ask the question “Are you happy?” might be just the prompt I need to drop the mask and tell the truth about the pain beneath.

Are you ready to do the same?

My next blog will be:  Which is the greater sin?

William Defoe

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