What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

Have you ever noticed when you look into the mirror that we tend to focus on the flaws instead of the beauty that is in each one of us? Some of that may be practical as we don't want to leave the house to discover we forgot to comb our hair or our shirt is on inside-out. But when was the last time you looked in the mirror and thought, "Wow, I have pretty hair!" how about, "That is a beautiful smile."  or "I look nice in this color."? Why is it a multi-billion dollar industry to make our hair better, skin softer, complexion smoother, or some other remedy for our flawed looks?

Where do the voices come from that tell us we are not okay? Some of the voices are of the very commercials for the products being sold, but others have been around much longer than that. Some of the voices are from childhood, parents and other relatives pointing out our flaws for us. Even peers and childhood friends often seem adept at pointing out imperfections. It is amazing how those voices from the past become the rules that we follow today.

So what would happen if we muted the voices that point out our flaws? Then what would you see in the mirror? Try it and see. Try looking in the mirror to find someone who is amazing and beautiful. Can't see her yet? Then try again, because she is there. So if you are still having trouble; try writing a list of the features that you like about you. I imagine it would be easier to write down those things you don't like about how you look, so go ahead and do that too. You may notice that some of your features are on both lists. So here is the tricky part, making peace with how you look, including those things you don't like. They aren't going to change, in fact, the list might even grow as you get older.

So maybe you need to redefine your own beauty. Instead of taking away from beauty, let the wrinkles be signs of a life well lived, defining love and laughter. A nose that is too big or small may be your link to a favorite grandparent who had a nose just like yours. You can appreciate the feet that are too big, or fat for how well they have carried you through the years. So find ways to appreciate the features that you have, that make you who you are. You are as beautiful as you see yourself. So start seeing the beauty that is you.

Treasure the Journey

Life is a journey, not a destination. I don't know how many times I have heard that, but not understood it's meaning. Often we set goals, and aspire to something better as we wander through this journey we call life. I don't know about you, but in my life there always seems to be a roadblock or setback. Some of those delays I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Others I would not have wished on my worst enemies. I have come to know that even those darkest of times have helped me become who I am. I think it is the same for everyone. We all have parts that we wish that we could erase from the portrait of our life, the mistakes, the pain, and heartaches. But I have to wonder if those are the very brush-strokes that bring depth of color, and richness in texture to the painting. I think Mother Teresa understood this in her prose about life. She stated,
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
I would like to add, life is life, live it. Don’t be satisfied with merely existing. Dare to dream, but don't forget to live in the process. Treasure your journey.