“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all?” So says the evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. She is but an example of what we have been programmed to expect when we look in a mirror. Like so many other things, it’s all about the approval of the outside world and, therefore, we must strive for perfection in all things…including our appearance.
When we are young, we are judged by our peers for our clothing, how we wear our hair, what qualities of beauty or handsomeness we possess or don’t possess. Very seldom, if ever, are we taught about the beauty of our soul and the wonder of our natural talents. Appearance…it’s all about appearance.
The end result is, when we look in a mirror, we are dissatisfied. To us, we are flawed. We find ourselves lacking, based on the standards that have been set for us by both parents and peers. This striving for “perfection”; this dissatisfaction with the image reflecting back to us from the mirror, can cause depression, anxiety, and even extremes in “beauty makeovers.” Sometimes, sadly, it leads to suicide thanks to the extreme stress and pressure put upon us to fit in with the beautiful people.
As we start to age, the image in the mirror can cause panic. As lines, wrinkles, and gray hair start to appear, some begin to feel the need for plastic surgery, botox treatments, extremes in dieting and exercise, etc. The list of ways to make oneself over goes on and on and on as we search for ways to achieve and maintain that perfection, that beauty that we have all been told is who we should be. And, still, no one thinks to tell us to seek out the beautiful person, who is ageless and eternal, residing behind the eyes we see in the mirror.
Don’t get me wrong. There will always be those who see through the illusions of this world. These are the souls who recognize that they are only wearing a flesh suit to travel in this realm and that they are not their body. These are the souls who look into the mirror and see the beauty behind the eyes and, therefore, are never disappointed with the flesh and blood image that reflects back to them. These are the ones who provide hope to the rest of us.
I truly believe that one of the lessons of this Earth plane is to be able to look beyond our physical appearances and see who really resides inside. Like any of our other lessons here, it has to begin with us. We have to find a way to drop that programming we’ve been carrying since childhood and learn to look, first at ourselves and then others, with a new perspective. After all, it is true, we are not our bodies.
I think, perhaps, this has been a little easier for me than some others because there has always been a rebel living inside me. Someone who may have been born a non-conformist and who questioned, sometimes too often, why I had to be a certain way or do something a certain way, etc. Although I tried, when I was younger because I wanted to fit in, I just couldn’t. I seemed to have challenged stereotypes from grade school on up.
I realize that not everyone is like that and that it may be very difficult to get free of the standards and stereotypes a person has lived with most of their lives, but it is necessary if you want to change your perspective on life, especially where appearances are concerned. So how do you begin?
I think one good way is to take an inventory of what you have to offer to yourself and others in the form of talents and abilities. Right off the bat, that takes you out of the realm of physical appearance. You’ve shifted your energies and attention to who you are inside and that’s a good thing. Take the time to write everything down you can think of and don’t tell me you can’t think of anything! Are you an artist, writer, good cook or baker? Do you love being around children and interacting with them? Are you good with your hands? Do you sew or love to work on mechanical things? I could go on and on here, but you get the idea. Leave no stone inside unturned and write it all down so you can see it with your own two eyes.
Loving who you are is so important. What we think about ourselves attracts people and situations that vibrate to that energy. Getting a new perspective on that person you see in the mirror is very important. Loving, rather than loathing, could change your life in many ways.
Here’s a little exercise you could try that I learned on my quest for a new perspective of myself: The next time you go to a mirror to look at yourself, don’t look at the face looking back at you. Instead, gaze directly into the eyes in the mirror. As you do this, look behind those eyes for the soul that is the real you and say, “I love you.” Just stay there for a while and feel the love passing from your physical eyes to your reflection eyes and being reflected back to you. After a few moments, say it again and feel the energy of love going from and returning to you. Do it a third time and smile.
When you have done this for a number of days or weeks, you will find that, when you look in the mirror, you no longer immediately look at your physical reflection and, when you do, you no longer feel the same intensity of dislike, disgust, dissatisfaction that you felt before. You’ve started to make a connection with the part of you that’s eternal and ageless. The burden of trying to achieve and maintaining physical perfection has begun to lift. You’ve started to see who you really are and it’s begun to change your perspective.
One last quick word. Would I still like to be 35 again? Yes. Would I still like to be 60 lbs. thinner? Yes. The difference now is that it’s not for anyone else’s approval. To improve my health and live longer are now my motives but even then my attitude is if it happens…great! If not, that’s okay too. I’ve come to love that person in the mirror, no matter what her age or weight. She’s very okay in my book!