Today’s daily post prompt is titled, Mirror, Mirror:
Look in the mirror. Does the person you see match the person you feel like on the inside? How much stock do you put in appearances?
Whew! This is such a universal topic, but one that’s come up for me often lately. As a person who lost a significant amount of weight, loves to exercise and pursue fitness, and loves the idea of helping others to do the same, this hits home.
What we see when we look at ourselves in the mirror is so often completely contrary to what others see when they look at us. The perfect example of this in action is the Dove Beauty Campaign ads:
Going further, the stories and labels we tell ourselves about ourselves can be hard to let go when things change.
“I’m the fat friend”
“I’m the strong one”
“The one everyone relies on”
If you’ve been overweight, then lost it, our minds play tricks on us because we still see the larger person when we look in the mirror, in a sort of reverse body dysmorphia. It’s as if our minds hang on to the physical picture of what our mental storytelling says we are. Aside from weight, it hits other areas, too – for me it’s acne scars (that no one sees but me), it’s weight, it can be about my hair – all kinds of things. And what happens if we let go of that story? If I’m not “the person who lost weight”, then who am I?
My very enlightened husband put it this way: When we look in the mirror – we look at all the pieces individually and pick them apart. When people who love us look at us – they see the whole. If we break down our appearance, traits, and personalities into little pieces to scrutinize, of course we will find faults and flaws. But when we look at the bigger picture – the whole, we get started on seeing ourselves the way others do.
I won’t pretend to convey that I have it all figured out (not by a long shot!) but giving ourselves grace to begin to change the negative stories we tell ourselves over and over and begin to see ourselves the way others see us is a worthy, and dare I say necessary, endeavor.
Who do YOU see when you look your reflection?