I’ve come up against a challenge of age lately. It’s not a BIG deal, definitely qualifies as a “first world problem,” but it got me thinking about some stuff that I thought maybe a few of you could relate to. I have reached the point where in order to do something to my face that requires specificity of location (plucking hairs, putting on eye makeup, applying ointment to something that needs healing), I need my specs. I just can’t see the details that close without them. Problem is the specs get in the way of a majority of the procedures I would need to use the mirror for in the first place. “Ahhhh. THAT’s why those mirrors are around,” you know those magnification mirrors. Sometimes they light up so you can have some kind of notion of how sunlight or club light will affect whatever look you’re working on, but let’s face it, it’s mostly about the magnification. And those mirrors aren’t just sold to people my age (or my ocular age which is a bit higher) and older; all kinds of people are okay with looking up real close at imperfections on their faces so they can do whatever they need to do to feel good about how they present themselves.
It got me to wondering how we can be SO okay with looking with such great scrutiny and intensity at our faces and then refuse to look at the rest of us in the mirror at all. And notice I say “we” here, because this is something I totally used to do, avoid eye to body contact. The objection here is: “But you look great,” and that objection has absolutely nothing to do with what goes on in MY head. For years I did not actually look at myself in a mirror that showed more than my face while undressed because the critic in my head was OUT OF CONTROL. What other people saw was of little interest to me. It was what SHE saw, that mean girl in my head, that had worn me down over time. Better to avoid her altogether by not looking and getting dressed early in the shower to rest of world progression.
As I thought about these mirrors, I momentarily imagined a GIANT magnifying mirror for my body. I laughed out loud to myself because 1) I imagined attaching something like that to the wall which made me laugh, and 2) I knew NOBODY (or at least very few) would want such a device. But if we could and would DO that, what would we see?
Would we see the sagging breasts or would we see that beautiful spot where cleavage meets breastbone? Would we see a muffin top or the mole on the curve leading to the back? Would we see tummy rolls or the stretch mark that was the first one we noticed at the OB’s office? Would we see a double chin or the softness that nurtures our words? We react to body shame by not looking, but what if we went the other way? What if we REALLY looked, looked past all that stuff that the mental mean girls tell you is the “problem”? What if we got so familiar with that body that we could see ALL of it and not just the parts that we wish were different? What if we could just wish they were different without hating or neglecting them? What if we started looking at ourselves from a place of love and appreciation and fed that feeling with all of the amazing parts we can see when we see EVERYTHING? How much different would that feel?
Even though I’ve already “done that work,” I still feel a wave of relaxation as I type this. She’s still in there, that mean girl. Our old mental habits don’t give up easy, but they are a choice. I choose the voice of love. I choose a different mirror, one that sees it ALL. What do you see in your mirror? If you’re ready to choose a different body view, check out my BARE program. You and your body really do deserve it.