Looking in the mirror
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Typically none of my answers would be positive. Actually most of the time my answer to that question would be cutting myself down and degrading. Or to be honest I wouldn’t even take long enough to look in the mirror because I wasn’t happy with myself as a whole. I would talk negatively about myself without a second thought. It wasn’t until my girls started growing up that I realized how I talked about myself in front of them would directly affect them.
I know that God created us in his image and everything he created including us he called good. That is the thought process that I want my girls to have. I want them to be confident in themselves. I know the world will throw a lot at them including body image and different perspectives. But I want them to be confident and have a firm foundation for when that gets thrown at them. So I stopped talking negatively about myself in front or around them, but I didn’t stop in my thoughts. While that was a good step it was now overwhelming my thoughts.
That was until I started to talk with a counselor. He gives me weekly homework assignments and one particular week we had talked about how awkward I felt as a kid and how I wasn’t happy with how I looked as a factor of my anxiety. So on a little 3×5 index card, he wrote “When I look in the mirror what do I see?” I pushed off this task as long as I could. Almost a week later, actually, it was the night before I was going to meet with him again. I stood in front of a full-length mirror and looked back at myself. This card has numbers 1, 2 & 3. So that meant I had to write at least 3 things down. To my surprise not all were negative but at least half were. I saw a physical body image that I wasn’t happy with. My extra weight I’m carrying and my frizzy hair, just to name a few. After that session, we talked about what my husband sees when he sees me and what God sees when he looks at me. Let me tell you both of those answers were positive and they see the best in me.
So I wanted to take steps to break away from this body shame that I was feeling. I found an audible book by Jess Connolly called “Breaking Free from Body Shame” the tag line is Dare to reclaim what God has named good. I have only made it a few chapters in. Between my counseling sessions and this book; it has broke me in the best way possible. I would highly suggest this book if you or someone you know struggles with body shame.
Let me paint a picture. I got home after a full day of work and meetings from 6 am that morning. All I want to do is put on sweats and take my makeup off. While I was doing this, I looked in the mirror, remember those homework assignments I mentioned earlier. Those are important to this moment. I looked in the mirror at one half of my face with makeup and the other half the makeup had been wiped away. That is the exact moment I caught a glimpse of myself in the ways others have seen me. I didn’t see the person I’ve been trying to achieve, like a skinnier version or other physical changes. I saw the person that had been on the inside starting to come out. I looked myself dead in the eyes and said in my mind and then out loud, “I’m proud of the person I’m becoming.” In my 33 years on this earth, I don’t think I’ve ever told myself I’m proud of myself. It was at this moment that I broke down in tears because I saw just a glimpse of how God sees me. Talk about a powerful moment.
It hasn’t been an overnight change. I have been putting in a lot of work to get here, but the moment this idea clicked is the starting point of me stepping into who God created me to be. If you haven’t gotten to this point yet, it’s ok. If you are struggling, it’s ok. Keep fighting. Never give up on yourself because God isn’t giving up on you.
I pray that this blog today was an encouragement to you and can help in your daily life. Always know I am available to pray with you or just be someone to talk to when life gets hard. E-mail me at email@example.com if you need prayer!
Talk to you soon!