When you look in the mirror, what do you see? And no, I don’t just mean physical appearance. I don’t know about you, but glancing in the mirror at myself, I don’t just see my physical reflection. For some reason it sparks a quick ‘check in’ with my mind and soul too.
Looking in the mirror can be a tough one for many of us – and it may surprise some to know that the ‘us’ who struggle with it are not just women!
When you’re in a good place in your life, the mirror’s reflection will make you smile, as you will see everything good. For some, this is most of their lives.
But for many it isn’t so.
Especially when there has been a history of abuse.
I want you to know, if you struggle, that I hear you. And I feel you.
Many times I stared in that mirror with harshness. I was truly my own worst enemy, critical of everything about me. I seemed to remember every mistake I had made, and berated myself for all of them. I noticed every line, every wrinkle, every scar – and I felt ugly.
I could feel the anger growing – at myself, at those who had hurt me, at the world as a whole.
And I would walk away from that mirror feeling frustrated and sad, angry and rejected.
It takes time.
I intensely disliked that statement. ”It takes time”. I have always been a fairly patient person, but hearing that always sparked a response in my mind, ”Good grief! How much longer? What a farce!”
But it happened. Slowly, at first.
And it doesn’t just take time. It happened when my attitude began to change. And that in itself was extremely difficult!
I don’t even remember the beginning of the change.
All I remember is that I made a choice.
I had seen, and experienced first hand, the damage that bitterness does – not just to the individual, but to every person they ‘touch’. I also noticed how that bitterness spilled over into almost everything, and because it was not dealt with, it grew at an alarming rate. And it negatively affected all other emotions. I watched that individual for many years (it wasn’t me) and saw how the only emotions that seemed to ‘increase’ along with that bitterness that never stopped growing were dissatisfaction, anger, sadness, misery.
And some of those things ‘latched’ onto me. But I think I was in denial. Or perhaps I was so busy trying to survive my circumstances, that I didn’t give them the attention they deserved.
All I know is that about four years ago, I began my journey with personal growth. It was sparked by the thought, ”There has to be more to life than this”. And as I began to delve into parts of my mind that ‘just were’, I was horrified to discover that even though it wasn’t a permanent state of mind, I was definitely nurturing my own little garden of bitterness, and all the other things that came with it!
And I made a choice. Because I had seen first hand how destructive these things were, and I knew I didn’t want to ‘end up’ like that individual!
The journey has not been pleasant. I still have to find that path sometimes. And I share all this because I want you to know that THERE IS HOPE and it IS possible to break the cycle.
Most days now, I can look in the mirror and be gentle. But it took time for me to get here. And hard work. And a willingness to change my attitude.
I still see the scars and lines and wrinkles, but I also see the strength and courage… and the places that have creased my face from laughter 😉
I see the beauty of compassion.
I see love and kindness.
I see a woman worthy of both.
I see a woman who still makes mistakes, but now views them differently. Who now looks for the lesson.
I am growing. I hope I keep growing. Because it gets better and better.
Life has a lot to offer! If we let it. ❤