My relationship with the mirror is slightly strained these days. For one, I don't have the time to stare at back at my mug. Getting ready is get in, get out, get on with it. But when the hubs is home and I can take my time getting ready, if I stand back to look at myself I might think every now and again, "Oh, I look pretty good today." But then my eyes will wander down to love handles or arms that I wish weren't so flabby and I find myself frustrated so I move quickly out of reflection range and get on with life.
Why are mirrors so powerful? Or why do we allow them to have so much power? They can tell us we're beautiful, ugly, too thin, not thin enough, lacking in some area, bulging in others...but that's only if we let them!
I went through one particularly rough year in high school where I was trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be (I'm sure I'm the only teenager to experience this....) I was extremely lonely and confused and didn't think much of myself. But I was - and am - the praying type so I would often pray to see myself the way that God sees me. One day I was sitting on the floor in front of the full-length mirror in my bedroom, putting on my makeup (because that's how my friend, Cathy, did her makeup and I thought she was really cool.) On this particular day I started to just look at all of the features of my face and quickly came to my eyes. I stared into my eyes for a long time and it suddenly turned very emotional for me. I've heard many times the phrase, "The eyes are the window to the soul" and I am of the belief that we do have souls that lived before and will go on living after we die. Well, I could see and feel my soul at that moment. It was powerful, shocking, and life-changing. I suddenly knew that inside this body of mine was a strong, beautiful, incredible soul and I needed to give her the opportunity to shine. I started to cry, but I did not want to break the gaze. I sat there for a very long time and made promises to myself to live up to my potential, to love me for who I was, and I felt confidence quickly seeping back into my body. I told the girl in the mirror that I loved her...and that felt SO good. I don't know how long I sat there, but it felt like a very long time. Finally I felt like it was okay to turn away from the mirror and I went and told my mom about my experience. That was a defining moment in my life.
I highly recommend this exercise to anyone. We should be able to tell ourselves, "I love you" and really mean it. We should know more about the soul that is housed inside of our bodies and what she/he is capable of. We should be able to look in the mirror and only allow it to be a force for good in our lives. The mirror only has power if you concede yours. Don't give that power up because then all you will see is what you want to change. Look for the complete you next time you look in the mirror. And throw in a few "I love yous" to the person looking back. It's also a good exercise to say - and really believe - that your hair, eyes, and other features are beautiful...even if it makes your sisters roll their eyes. :)