Just The Way You Are

While I was sitting in my airplane seat, mystery man said something to me that I will never forget.

“You need to throw away your mirror and magnifying glass.”

He said this in response to a self-deprecating joke I made about having grey hair and a few wrinkles. I was trying to communicate that I wasn’t a young naive twenty-something but that I was closer to thirty and had the physical qualities to prove it.

“Stop. You need to throw away your mirror and magnifying glass.”

I’ve known this man for thirty minutes and he’s already calling me out on my physical insecurities. Either he’s incredibly perceptive or I’m worse at hiding it than I thought.

“Throw away your mirror and magnifying glass.”

The words echoed in my brain long after we parted ways in baggage claim.

What does that even mean? How would I be different? How did he KNOW?

I let the words sink in slowly. How many times a day do I look at my reflection in a mirror? How many of those times do I catch a glimpse of something I wish was smoother, tighter, smaller, higher, lighter, thinner, straighter, etc. Any of those times am I actually able to walk away pleased with what I see?

I know I’m not alone in this issue. But I have to wonder, where did it come from? At what point along the way did my little girl innocence get replaced by the things I didn’t like? Sometimes I’ll stare at myself trying to recognize the woman staring back. I’ll inspect her every which way, occasionally getting close enough to zero in on her fatal flaws. I’ll walk away sad or frustrated with the reflection staring back at me.

I want to say I understand what it would mean to throw away my mirror and magnifying glass, to truly accept who I am. But to be completely honest, I don’t even know how to. The world we live in exalts self-deprecation. How quick are we to point out our flaws when we’re given a compliment. How quick are we to devalue kind words someone shares when we look nice. Why? Why is this? Why can’t I just smile and say thank you when I’m given a compliment? And sure, maybe sometimes I’m able to do that verbally, but what about internally? My inner dialogue can be cruel and punishing whenever life is spoken into my heart in regards to my physical appearance.

Why?

What are the reels playing over and over in my head to keep me from believing truth?

Am I a slave to the mirror and the magnifying glass?

Maybe.

And maybe that’s something I need to start really uncovering before I have children of my own and they have their “not good enough” and “never going to be beautiful” ‘s. Because Lord have mercy, I would never want my child to tell themselves the same things I tell myself.

Which should be a pretty good indication I’ve got some figuring out to do.

———-

Yeah, I know, I know when I compliment her, she won’t believe me
And it’s so, it’s so sad to think that she don’t see what I see
But every time she asks me do I look okay?
I say

when I see your face
there’s not a thing that I would change
’cause you’re amazing
just the way you are

 

 

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