This post is Grassroots, meaning a reader posted it directly. If you see an issue with it, contact an editor.
If you’d like to post a Grassroots post, click here!

September 27, 2023

Do we have a flat emoji face?

Living in the era of texting and emojis, many of us are aware of the flat emoji face. It’s a yellow face, with three flat lines: two for the eyes, one for the mouth. It’s often used to convey a “blah” mentality, a disinterest, a boredom. It’s flat and expressionless.

How many of us struggle to live with that face in our lives?

The eyes have it.

Numb: desensitized vision.

What do we see? Is it hope? Despair? Things that excite and inspire us?

What do we fix our eyes upon? Are our eyes evened opened, or are they the shut line-looking eyes of the emoji face?

Do we know what we see in life?

Do we question it? Confront it? Change it?

Refuse to look at it?

The eyes represent vision. What is ours right now?

Is it a shut mouth?

Look at the lined mouth.

Is that you?

Being silenced is not the same as being speechless.

Many of us feel like we have been shut up by others: family, authority figures, systems, and numerous traumatic events.

Just because we may have been silenced, in some way, doesn’t mean that we have nothing to say.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

Yet, for many of us, after years, or decades, even, of discouraging injustices, mistreatment, abuses, and trauma, we can often reach that numbed, shut, lined mouth.

What good does it do to speak?

It’s another reason we can go flat in our emotional states, registering on our faces.

Like the character of the Tin Man in “The Wizard Of Oz,” we can find ourselves crying, “Oil can!”

It is often here where we begin to face some things about our face and its flat, numb, emotionless presence.

The face is not who we are.

Devastation. This recognition can often be the first step in awakening our faces, and the fuller realization of an improved life.

It can be argued that the emoji face is not who we are.

It is what we have survived instead.


Perhaps, therapy can be seen as “step two.” It’s the beginning of the processing of our pain and our issues. That involves doing the work of excavation.

Recovering, identifying, remembering, and sometimes, reliving those things that have affected us, leaving us looking and feeling emotionless and powerless, can, through therapy, unlock our lives.

When you and I have an “a-ha moment,” that can be revolutionary.

It’s astounding how powerful we can become when we connect the dots. Once we can see something that had been hidden from our view, there can be a shift in thinking.

And our faces can change with that shift.


This word has gotten more common in the lexicon recently. It’s often uttered within the context of therapy.

It’s quite literal in its meaning.

Like we would reframe a photograph or a painting, resizing it, refitting it, we do the same with the acquired insights and revelations we come across, especially within therapeutic settings.

There’s a healing quote which states that when you can’t change a situation, change how you view it.


Many times, we have been bullied into believing that there is only one way of looking at things. Sometimes, we can believe that the only truth belongs to what someone else says it is, not what happened to us.

Reframing gives us permission (and we need to give ourselves that permission), to view ourselves through a more accurate and compassionate lens.

Can we see our lives in another way? What if there’s more to the story?

What if those missing pieces were the truth as we encountered them, as we dismantle agenda-laced beliefs that benefit others, at our expense?

What if?


This can often be viewed as one of the final steps in this process of healing and dealing with our flat, emotionless, affected emoji lives.


The pulling of it all together.

Accepting ourselves fully. The parts we see as shameful, embarrassing, ugly.

Those parts, dovetailing in with our pretty aspects, with our brave fronts, our reputations, and our successes.

Many of us have spent our lives trying to wall or cut those things off from us.

We reject those realities. We suppress them. We try to ignore them.

But we don’t really succeed at doing that, do we?

Hence, our flat-affected emoji faces… and lives to match.

Integration, as uncomfortable and scary as it is, requires embodying it all, flaws, and all.

It can smash the mask of perfection.

It’s not tidy. It’s not convenient. It often doesn’t please other people.

But integration can begin the process of peace for us. We stop running from ourselves. We stop trying, in vain, to distract ourselves from things that cannot be changed.

They were what they were: issues, the haunting past, the painful relationships, and incidents that marked us.

Integrating them into our lives, accompanying, other prettier aspects, can work to reassure us of a balance.

We are a mixture, not all or nothing.

A mixture.

Do our faces and our lives MOVE?

What do our faces look like? How much does it resemble the emoji?

What can you and I do, right now, to move the flat lines? What will you and I do right now?

Copyright © 2023 by Sheryle Cruse


Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Sheryle Cruse  |  Contribution: 27,625