Have you ever stood in front of the mirror with that sinking feeling of dread and disgust, wishing vehemently that the paper-bag-with-eye-holes-look was fashionable? Anything seems preferable over going out in public.
Mirrors, are after all just pieces of reflective glass that give us a unbiased, factual reflection. But our eyes are different. The reflection we see is so tainted by our past, that we seldom see what is actually here. Our baggage clouds our view and soon the mirror becomes a necessary evil that we endure, to do the daily tasks like putting the contact lenses in, applying the make up as fast as possible so the time needed in front of it can be kept to a minimum.
I think there are very few women, who actually like what they see. Magazines and airbrushed models set unrealistic goals for the mere mortal woman. A lot of us have wounds from the past; relationships, friends or family can inflict wounds that we carry with us. We have heard criticism over parts of ourselves, that we have no ability to change and we learn that, the way we are, is just not quite good enough. Over the years, the fog before our eyes grows, and the image we see is distorted. Until…
Until, we find a new pair of eyes staring at us and we catch a glimps of the reflection that they see. They see beauty, loving every part of us. Not expecting perfection, but their love is unwavering in the face of a bad hair day, a fat I-can’t-find-anything-in-the-cupboard day, and even the day your skin forgets you are 33 and not 15. You are loved for who you are, imperfections and all. In their eyes, the bits you hate are not so much over looked, but because the eyes see and love the whole YOU, they are totally insignificant.
And then, one day you get out the shower and look in the mirror, and you start to see what they see. Not perfection, but also not an image totally skewed by the fog of years of negative-self-speak. You see you through someone else’s eyes. It is a gift, and slowly the fog lifts. There are days that the habit of self loathing come crashing back, but then fridge magnet poems remind you to see what is there, and see what they see.
I only hope I am able to give the same gift.