Not every reflection we see in the mirror is the truth. Often what we're looking at is distorted or misleading.
The truest reflection of who I am isn't always visible in a mirror. It can come through in my words, in my deepest thoughts and in my actions.
Looking In A Mirror
“I can't look into the mirror. What if its just me looking back?”
When I look into the mirror every morning, here is what I see.
I see tired, I see old, I see fat.
I also see I'm a living, breathing human being, whose tired, old, fat body is doing exactly what it needs to be doing.
Keeping me alive.
All of these reflections are accurate. There is no distortion or lying. I'm merely seeing what is in front of me. The distortion and the lying come in to play when my thoughts and feelings get put in the mix. I used to look into the mirror and not like what I saw. I didn't want to look tired, old and fat. Seeing that reflection tore me down every morning. Every time I had to go into a dressing room and try on clothes. I did not what to see that reflection.
Those negative perceptions of myself were the distortion and lies. I was looking at my perfectly functioning body and seeing it as something bad and flawed and, dare I say, disgusting. Images are just images. My thoughts and feelings and biases are what turn mere images into ammunition against myself.
Hiding Behind The Distortion
The dominant theme in my journey throughout this life has been hiding. Hiding from myself and keeping myself hidden from others. It has been exhausting. No wonder I see tired when I look in the mirror. Imagine trying to hide from others, but not being able to find a hiding place because no matter where you hide you are still there. And you are trying desperately to hide from yourself as well.
I get tired just reading that. It's no wonder that I have struggled with anxiety and depression for so long.
There was only one way for me to stop the madness of constantly trying to hide from the world. It wasn't weight loss, conquering mental illness or discovering the secret to anti-aging. It was acceptance.
Accepting myself as I presented in the mirror every morning. Coming out from behind the distortion and lies and just being this person. No judgement, no disgust. Just acceptance.
Acceptance Means Showing Up As You Are
“She opened her eyes. She opened her eyes and she saw herself. And she was good enough. She was whole and she was real and she was loved..”
When I am in a place of acceptance of who I am, I am much more able to let my voice be a reflection of that person. If I'm in hiding, my voice is also in hiding. When I'm in hiding, I can't do any of the things that I feel will best benefit my wellness. I can't wait until I'm happy to come out of hiding. Hiding is what keeps me unhappy. My happiness came with acceptance of who I am and acceptance that the person looking back at me was exactly who she needed to be.
All of the good, bad and ugly things about me are a part of who I am. I can't just hope for the good to show through every minute of every day. I am a complex blend of both beauty and beast.
When I open my eyes to who I really am, I accept the reflection that I see in the mirror as me. I can accept the reflection distortion free. I do feel whole and real and, yes, loved.
And I still see tired, old and fat.
And I still see that my body is doing exactly what it needs to do to keep me alive.
Something To Ponder
When you look into the mirror, are you accepting the you that is there? Or are you accepting the distortions and lies that appear to be you?