when you don’t like what you see in the mirror

A post about what we don’t like to see in the mirror.

Hm. What to say?

I could talk about fat rolls and muffin tops and stretch marks and varicose veins.

I could talk about yellowing teeth, graying hair, and flapping arms.

I could talk about wrinkles and crow’s feet.

I could talk about make-up and Spanx and Weight Watchers and self-tanners.

I could talk about whitening and dying and lifting.

I could talk about botox and moisturizer.

Or – – – – – I could remove the mirror all together, because we spend too much time looking in it.

Instead of looking in the mirror, why don’t we look out the window?

Why don’t we replace all the time we spend thinking about how we look, what we wear, what we weigh, how we appear…

…why don’t we replace it with perspective? I think that could help…me.

Because if I could stop focusing on myself and what’s wrong with me – my physical appearance – then maybe I could see – really see – someone else. See him, see her, beyond the surface and to the heart.

I know it’s important to be healthy, to take care of my body, to eat well, to exercise. But when we stare at the mirror, it’s not usually about health or taking care of our bodies.

We are worried about what other people see when they look at us. What they think, what they feel. We are worried about the mirror they are holding, and what that mirror might reveal.

Maybe if I removed the mirror, took it out of the room, I could write this post about something else. Something not me.

Something away from the mirror, outside the window.

I could talk about young girls being sold as brides, ripped from their families.

I could talk about child soldiers holding guns instead of pencils.

I could talk about water shortages, education shortages, food shortages, shelter shortages.

I could talk about the pain of divorce, the sorrow of loss, the devastation of abuse.

Those are big things. Big, hard, things. Important things.

But when I look in the mirror I don’t just miss what’s out the window.

I miss what’s right next to me.

The young girl who is standing at my side, hating what she sees in the mirror.

The co-worker who is desperately lonely and just wants someone to invite her to lunch.

The kid at my school who seeks answers in a cigarette, a party, some weed.

My neighbor who would love to have a conversation about something more than the weather or the lawn or the garbage cycle.

The lady at the gas pump. The man behind the counter.

The needs in my own community. At my own school. In my own neighborhood. At my own workplace.

Right. Next. To. Me.

I’m missing it.

Because I’m just so busy looking at what I don’t like to see in the mirror.

My dear, sweet, friend.

I know many who struggle with self-esteem, with self-image, with self-loathing. I don’t want to make light of those painful struggles. I do want to point out that when we take our eyes off of the mirror and look at a hurting world, most urgently in our own back yards, it helps us with perspective. We can learn what really matters by giving back. We can stop obsessing and start sharing, loving, and seeing where our worth really lies: with the Father who doesn’t use a mirror to determine our worth.

He created us. And that makes us miraculous.

You are loved and valued. Get rid of that mirror.