Today, I came across a video from a young woman that I knew was written just for me. It was written for me, and for every woman, and for every person.
I sat and watched this video, and realized how scary it would be to meet myself in the mirror. To look at myself might not be awkward, but it would be uncomfortable. It would stir up emotions in me, just as it did for Ashley Wylde, even if those weren’t the same emotions.
Even though it’s not a new month, I decided to accept the challenge: I would start with a month, and maybe it would end up a year. Hopefully it would be a lifetime where I looked in the mirror, said I love you, and felt the love reflecting back. That reflecting thing is what mirrors are about, after all.
I set a timer for five minutes, and perched on the bathroom counter. I looked and looked. I tilted my head, to change the lighting, to examine the angles, and to explore the details of the face I look at every day. I’m often astonished how often I leave to a room with a mirror and realize I haven’t looked myself in the eye. What am I afraid I will see?
I saw sadness today. I saw that my lips aren’t vertically symmetrical, and my skin is just as dry now as it ever has been and that there are blemishes on my face and that I have eyebrows with no shape and this crazy hair on my cheek that has to be pulled out, even though it’s impossible to see. I also tried to see beyond that, to see my face as I see the face of someone I love: a series of pieces constructed into an interpretation of perfection. I tried to see beyond the blemishes, and certainly wasn’t allowed to poke and prod and try to correct, which is all I typically do in the mirror.
When my five minutes were up, I looked into my own sad eyes, and said I loved myself. I looked away quickly, and then realized what I had done. So I looked back at myself, and said it again. And I looked at myself until I believed that I had actually said it, and felt it. Even if what I was looking at wasn’t perfect–no face I’ve ever told my love to has been perfect–I could feel something, look myself squarely in the eye, and not run away from that feeling.
I ended up sitting for ten minutes before I finally was ready to accept my own love. Maybe tomorrow will be easier. I think it’s worth a shot, and that the journey won’t be as far as I think it will be.
Yes, I filtered the photo on this post. Maybe that’s another thing to note.