I stood in front of the mirror the other day nit-picking my every flaw. Too flabby here. Too fat there. I have potholes for pores. My nose is too big. Man, I need to lose weight. If only I could just think – slim down that area and poof! – it would happen. Or maybe just run my magical hand across an area and bam! – blemishes erased.
Alas, that is not reality and there is no such thing as a magical genie. I started feeling bad about myself – surprise, surprise! But wait… what is that? Man, my eyes look amazing when I do my make up like this. They look so sexy. Oh and look at my hair, finally after 34 years and an awesome stylist, it looks sleek and manageable. I love it!!! And check out my butt! It looks amazing in these pants!
There I said it – I look amazing today!
My brother surprised me by taking me shopping to get a Mother’s Day gift. I have the most amazing brother in the world. We walked into the store and he says to me “pick an outfit!” I was stunned! I am not your typical girl that really loves shopping. No! I avoid shopping like the plague. I can’t find my size or I find something cute, and my modesty (and comfortability) standards don’t allow me to purchase that gorgeous strapless dress. I hate trying on clothes because I get really hard on myself when they don’t fit, or look like the super sexy model in the picture. It usually makes me depressed. Well this time was different! I loved trying on all the beautiful clothes. And even though a lot of them did not look right, meet my standards or fit right; they made me feel pretty. No – I felt beautiful! Something I was not use to feeling when shopping. One of the shirts that I picked out has the words “Whatever you think” that is crossed out. Then underneath are the words “think the opposite” which are written backwards so when in the mirror they read correctly.
I love this shirt!
As I stood there looking at myself in the mirror, I felt amazing. I felt beautiful. I felt awesome. I didn’t see my flaws. I am super critical of myself, not unlike many women I’m sure, but what this shirt said to me was so profound. It said “STOP IT!” Stop looking at only your flaws and see the beauty that you do possess. Stop thinking that you can only bebeautiful if you fit into some warped mold that society has placed. (Hello Photoshop!) I may not like every tiny detail of my body, but that’s OK, it just means there is room for improvement. Right? Rather than focusing on the things I don’t like, I need to focus on the things that I love. I need to do what my shirt says, think the opposite, and find something positive about me that I love or makes me feel confident.
We are all more than just bodies. Our bodies are only the outer shell of what makes us – well us! I need to remember that the mirror does not depict my love, my compassion, my honor or integrity. The mirror doesn’t show my honesty, my loyalty, my faith or my passions. No, the mirror only displays my physical attributes. No matter what shape that physical form is in, I have always found the flaws in it. The characteristic traits that make up who I am, may not be perfect, but they reflect more of me than the mirror does. When I am in the world, yes people see my body first, but it is my character that keeps them around.
The next time I have a negative thought about myself, I’m going to think of at least two things that are good or that I like. I have to train my mind to not focus on the negative. It is definitely easy to do in this world. Though I do have flaws, we all do, I don’t have to make them the focus of my attention. I can focus on the positive and work on those flaws to make them better. Then one day, maybe, those flaws won’t be flaws anymore, but the mark of true beauty.