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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Our Delight in the Micro Love Part two

Updated on March 30, 2017

Does this picture relax your face or do you look all concentrating seeing the face?

For me it is relaxing for it is an old friend
For me it is relaxing for it is an old friend | Source

Obvious ques

I would hope that many people have taken the time in their jurisdiction to sit on a jury. It is an important civic duty and should be undertaken save in the greatest cases of hardship. Please keep that in mind if you think about someone ever wrongfully accusing you. Oh I assure you we will get back to this and know your scowl has been duly noted. Now I see your frustration as I do not pull you in quickly enough to this story. You are the jury. I did not want anyone on the jury without a 5 minute attention span. Thank you for your service and you are excused from the jury of this sermon. I saw your micro expressions without any words or actually looking at you. Intuition combined with study, years of experience and empathy let you do that without a visual.

Any good speech writer can make a crowd wince. Just bust out in a poorly looking racial suggestion. A wince is an expression but it is directly tied to words. Any cruel father can make his son flinch with a raised hand. Any lover can raise a finger to her lovers lips and with a look demand no more talk and something else. With raised eyebrows to one we can signal crazy to another about another. If we study this we can know the reaction without seeing it. Any good novelist can know what emotion she brings out.

Can some of us lie with a facial or body expression? Most assuredly this is so. A wife is chastising the child and to the wife the father looks stern. But in just a second he can tell the boy that all is fine with a shrug of even just his forehead.

So when does love on a face really mean love on a face. It would seem the best place to start is with the glasses we are wearing. Do our presuppositions determine what the look of another means?

Kind of one of a kind

Painters catch what others may not see

This setting is a perfect setting to reflect on.
This setting is a perfect setting to reflect on. | Source

Cause and effect

She was expecting me to smile when I frowned instead. A hurt deeply buried by one raised from sleep by another, even unintentionally, caused “mixed signals”. Great concept that “signals crossed” and “mixed signals”. Is she reacting to the words of her man or is she just loving the moment of being together? Does she even know? And so what does her face tell her man? And what did the man at the moment he spoke show on his face?

If you look at all of the above, we would hope that you get a feeling that maybe you should control your micro expressions. Isn’t that how we humans think. Control the end product and all will be well. But we really do not work that way. Actually if we are successful at controlling our natural physical response we are doomed to depression, anxiety and hopefully not mania. You see lying takes a toll on anyone involved and maybe more so the unspoken kind.

Now just say a man has a younger wife. The wife suggests to the man to stop squinting and furrowing his eyebrows because it is causing a wrinkle in his face. Really folks, Geisha girls are trained to show only the calmest and welcoming of faces. Not just to be polite but because their face will slightly wrinkle otherwise. So the older husband and the Geisha learn to be flat. Actually kind of cool. A wonderful Pilipino lady told my wife long ago to use lemon each night on her face and do not smile so as to avoid wrinkles.

It seems like this brings us to a point. Expressions are important and they can be manipulated, but at a cost. It feels like this piece needs a drumroll here because our next look is so exciting. At least I am excited.

Should we let go and recognize our micro expressions and turn them inward? Or should we recognize what causes them and change our cognitive insides?

Combination of senses

Such a classic

We look at this face that is clearly not a photo. So the expression is one the artist tried to get across.Personally I get nothing from it. Maybe that is why I like it. Maybe perfectly neutral.
We look at this face that is clearly not a photo. So the expression is one the artist tried to get across.Personally I get nothing from it. Maybe that is why I like it. Maybe perfectly neutral. | Source

Inside out

Please sit back for a moment and close your eyes and make the expression of pure joy at seeing a baby. Go ahead and kind of wrinkle eyes and kind of scrunch your nose and let that smile drop a bit in a knowing way. Mouth open just a bit to gasp at air rather than sigh. Now reverse that inward. Do not stop there, get up and walk to your family and show it to them and incorporate the love you see. Go ahead and shed a tear. Welcome to the reverse or is it your face that caused love. Love back in and love back out! Your face was just read – but we did not fake it. You actually went there to that love space and passed it forward.

There is a cliff my family jumps off of. And we all sit on the shore and cheer. I waded out once and turned to face the family instead of the jumper. Three seconds of 8 people’s faces going through all the emotions.

Now the better part. You are sitting at your desk and concerned and working away on matters of great import. Some cultures require you to have a stern look on your face or you are not working hard. But we can take that deep concentrating working look into our car. We can place it in the child seat and strap it in. Inside we can say – “hey I love my work”. Be careful. But I just wrote that as work and I smiled. Tap it. Tap it and Tap it. Now you are in control. Not like an ego in control, but a decision to love. Thank you if you went there with me. Get some sunshine and then put that in your love heart machine.

Cross your arms. Look downward. Step back a foot. Slump or posture shoulders, look hard into their eyes. You may win, but win what?

Love your peoples. Stay cunning and sharp. But offer that slight nod of the head even while disagreeing. Welcome who you are engaged in but with a firm jaw. But I mean on the inside. They will know if you know and watch their face as they understand understanding and not confrontation. Let right win and not you.

You silly reader you. You forgot that you are my jury. You judge me, but if you are still here I won my case. My face here did not answer a single question. It raised 30 more. But those are your questions not mine. And by getting you to ask them to yourself our combined verdict is….

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    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 weeks ago from San Diego California

      Your cloud picture reminds me of what I saw when, while delivering mail in North Park, a tree branch gave me a stiff arm tackle and I fell flat on my butt. I was laying there on the soft grass, looking up at the fluffy clouds serenely, and might have stayed there forever if a passing motorist had not stopped and asked if I was okay. Maybe I should have just stayed there.

      My brow is deeply furrowed from thinking too much, and acting too little. Otherwise I would try your geisha girl techniques. I often wondered why Philippinos never smile. Now I know the answer. Wonderful sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      When I lived in North Park prior to gentrification I found myself gazing up at the sky several times after losing my wallet to a "neighbor". But I had to get up so as not to lose shoes also.

      That is rather deep about the face forming because of the lack of doing -- "a guilty cover-up" perhaps. As I think of it, I am guilty of it. Is it those Russian novels you read that make you so quick?

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 weeks ago from San Diego California

      North Park is a very interesting place, Eric. One block is pure ghetto, while the next block over thinks it is Beverly Hills. I never lost a wallet there, but I did lose a few mailman hats due to low-hanging branches. This is exactly why I wear a pith helmet now, to avoid further damage to my already severely battered skull, a condition that I know comes out plainly in my writing.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 3 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      It's amazing what body language can do in sending messages. That struck me. I was hoping you'd not skip a week on your sunday sermon. I have no intention of stopping smiling. I don't like wrinkles, but if I have to have them, I want them to be from smiling or laughing.

      You mentioned the painting of Jesus, the one we see in so many traditional churches. I dislike it intensely because Jesus looks effeminate and anglo. He was a Jew by race and practice and a carpenter. He had muscles and was not likely effeminate. I think of that verse in Isaiah 53 where it said "He has no statelly form or majesty that we should look upon him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him." That has nothing to do with your sermon but I thought of that.

      Keep the sermons coming. They are always a pleasure. It would be cool if you could put in a video in one of your sermons that is a hymn or some Christian song. Just a thought.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel, North Park has got me thinking, which is dangerous. Are we just way more integrated here than most places?

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Lori.

      1. more gospel songs both traditional and modern.

      2. publish more regularly on Sunday

      3. work on a more balanced using of "I"

      These are things I have been wrestling with. God is pushing me to something. So I am trying to figure out some fears I may have that will show me which way to grow. I do believe that God puts fear in our lives in order that we may find the direction we are to head in.

      I think your comment on Jesus is spot on. I doubt they had great plastic surgeons, hairdressers and dentists back then. And just think of all that hiking and in the sun stuff.

      I hope that you know that your writing gives me wrinkles -- the very best kind.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 weeks ago from london

      The argument becomes more meaningful at the end and the case is made. LOL.

      Funny thing, expressions, though. We are even taught how to use our body language to avoid bullying and harassment. Seems to me that as humans it is quite natural sometimes to go into the mode which best protects us, as well as to sneer at others with ill intent. Still, this can easily be a huge discussion.

      I have a similar picture of the Christ. In fact I just looked at it. There are some differences but interestingly, it was bought in Jamaica, Queens. Have a great day!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 weeks ago from San Diego California

      I used to deliver to Chargers wide receiver Malcolm Floyd's house on Felton St, right off El Cajon Blvd in the heart of the North Park ghetto. From there, I could see the ladies of the evening walking to work in the late afternoon. One Malcolm got married, had a kid, and got a big contract, he didn't stay there long.

      I think our older San Diego neighborhoods are more integrated. The new neighborhoods are deliberately engineered for exclusivity.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 3 weeks ago from LOS ANGELES

      My grandmother used to tell me as a child it took four muscles to frown and only one muscle to smile. I'm sure she was just throwing out numbers to get her moody granddaughter to smile more often.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Manatita, great book review you wrote. Sometimes reading something so interesting and compelling makes me antsy -- there is so much to learn!!!

      One of my great interests in this area is the concept of putting on a smile and feeling better, showing it to someone and feeling a lot better. And like sound the light reflection from our smiling face just goes out into the universe and never ends.

      I felt your smile through your words. Thank you

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel, don't tell anyone but I did like a Thesis paper/amicus brief on that strip. They were trying to zone out those shops and ladies. My argument was that land use restrictions in that case were an abridgment without due process of our right to free speech/expression. Hell, it won out. But then property values pushed them further down the road -- oh well.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana, to study this you have to first do some anatomy. 43 muscles in the face. What is cool is that the main one that splits up actually comes out of your Cerebral Cortex of the brain. So in fact thought is both a controller and controlled by these muscles. (kind of). Way too trippy about blood vessel contractions and even enzyme production.

      But grandma was right. It can take up to half those muscles to frown well. And only about 1/4 to smile well.

      My sons and I have a snarl smile. It is so genetic. But usually we just go all out as both my sons are somewhat involved in modeling.

      (well my elder - the face of Men's Warehouse father's day ads)

      Have a great California evening.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 3 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      I have learned there is good fear and bad fear. Fear that Mac Truck is heading toward your toddler who has broken away and in the middle of the street. Fear that we don't measure up, or that things are hopeless, amongst many others, are the type that need to drive us to our knees.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 3 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, I fully understand were you were going with this sermon, and I love the message. But it caused me to think of this saying "a picture is worth a thousand words"--could that extend to an expression as well?

      My pastor's daughter is severely disabled--she is paralyzed from the chest down, is partially blind, and cannot speak. (She weas born with spina bifada and hydrocephalus). Nevertheless, she expressed VOLUMES with her eyes. She understands what we say to her, and she speak back to us without saying a word.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 3 weeks ago from Escondido, CA

      Another great sermon Eric. I am still wandering pondering "Should we let go and recognize our micro expressions and turn them inward? Or should we recognize what causes them and change our cognitive insides?" I have been studying recently consciousness. Basically, what occurs subconsciously is in the autopilot mode and the conscious mind is focused. Today, I think I will be conscious of my facial gestures for a fun observation and write about it in my journal tomorrow. Thanks for the message today.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 weeks ago from london

      What a sweet and charming thing to say! Yes, a smile can be so powerful! You will know that the Christ taught a lot about being like children. Bro I laugh a lot; sing a lot... my experience is that they bring out the beauty of the Heart and interestingly, serve as a beacon for some we may never know is having a bad day.

      So we enrichen ourselves and take humans along with us. I tell Bill sometimes that he makes me laugh. So good for the Soul. All Saints teach this. Your sentiment is truly acknowledged and appreciated. Have a great day.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Look at you with these sermons. They're catching on. I remember, back in the early days, when you had me and maybe one other stop by to listen to you expound on life. Now look at the growth in numbers, great comments, and quality people.

      Love, baby, love!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Tim I figure that besides the scalp and forehead the ears are closest to our central nervous system hub. Check out the seventh cranial nerve. Just the concept of how our facial muscles are tied so closely to the cerebral cortex is cause for pause.

      (when you say journal - do you mean a published one somewhere?)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lori thank you for that. It reminded me of what a Vietnamese monk told me once. He was really referencing Christianity in a sly fashion. "Eric, every good journey begins on your knees". Personally I do kind of put fear and respect as synonyms - maybe that is wrong.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda it is good to hear from you. I hope all is well. I did not get right back to you because I wanted some time to reflect on your comment regarding pictures. I pulled out some old family ones. Say 1962 or so. Reading the faces did not produce the same feeling I had in my memory. Is my memory wrong or are the faces wrong? Hmm.

      I have a girlfriend at my son's school that I say a few things to everyday. About 9 yrs old I suppose. She cannot respond verbally out of her full body support unit. So we have a little conversation making/feeling facial expressions. We smile when we see each other and we smile when we nod good bye. We have a non verbal relationship that I treasure.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, thank you. I am about to come over and visit. I know your new works are in the "air" so I look forward to bringing them to my forefront.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, you have been with me the whole way. Remember when we first met I was about a month in and you led me through an interview with you. I should look that up.

      I do not know and cannot put my finger on it, but there is a really good chance I would not be here if not for your encouragement. Well at least HP knows who to blame now.

      Lets start the weekend off right here and now!!!

    • Terrielynn1 profile image

      Terrie Lynn 3 weeks ago from Alberta, Canada

      Hi Eric , I love this one. It's so true, I love expression lines in the faces of family. The ones who are gone I miss very much. This brought the pictures of them to my mind. My grandmother used ponds cold cream every night and had beautiful soft skin. I see these wrinkles as wisdom, knowledge and lives lived showing on our face. Smiling is amazing and even lifts ones mood. It's truly amazing what you see and learn when watch people's expressions. Thank you for the memories, you put a smile on my face. Have a beautiful day.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Terrie,

      You just reminded me of my Grandma in law - passed at 104. In her broken english/french/vietnamese she told me to stay quiet - because my face was smarter than my words. Holding hands was cool too.

      In my experience parents who really try to read their baby's faces have babies that do not cry so much.

      Your smile lines and wrinkles show through in your writing and friendship.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Fun reading on the surface, but there are some serious things to consider here. On any given day, I choose wrinkles over a serious face, but I bet there are also some Pilipino gestures that I prefer. It may still take love in the heart to interpret body language correctly.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Dora, yes indeed all things must pass through our Lord's filter of love.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 3 weeks ago from Escondido, CA

      Hello, Eric. I journal in my PC. I open a new Word document put the date & day at the top then do a free writing exercise most of the time. Sometimes I may do funny stuff like research a thought. Anyway, I have been cognitive of my facial gestures since reading this. I catch myself kinda' and notice. It's like watching a silent film kinda'.

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