“Mirror, Mirror, on the wall” how many times have we heard this phrase starting in our early childhood? Dozens? Hundreds? Origins based in a fairy tale, we associate it with a vain and aging queen in a quest to know about and eliminate any who might rival her perceived beauty.
What do I see when I look in a mirror? That depends on the day. Sometimes I see a no-makeup overweight middle aged woman with blonde eyelashes and eyebrows which serve to make them appear invisible. Not a stunning beauty by any means. And that’s okay. I’m a mom of 3, wife to 1, and probably in most ways I’m much more average than most people. Sometimes, though, I see a shadow of who I used to be in my features and find myself glad to have lived past that part of my life. The mirror can show us many things, but only when we take that figurative mirror and peer into ourselves do we really see our essence.
We have to examine carefully what we find during those times. Not view them through a filter of emotion or denial. We have to boldly look at what we find and call it what it is. During these inspections of our inner closet we have to resist the urge to color what we find with a lens of self-pity, denial, or ‘okay, that just wasn’t my fault’. Because most of it is our fault. We are shaped to an extent by what we learned growing up but at some point we start taking control of, and responsibility for, our own actions.
Most people tend to think that I am a Pollyanna. And in some respect I am. I always look for the best in people and expect everyone to be as good hearted as I’ve learned to be. I don’t believe that anyone is beyond redemption, but it isn’t up to me to redeem them necessarily nor am I required to have them as part of my life if they don’t add to it rather than detract from it. I think I am a good person now, but part of it is my nature and part of it has been learned behavior from the school of hard knocks. I haven’t always been a ‘nice’ person.
Naivety and low self-esteem have played a large role in who I was and who I’ve become. As I take the mirror and peer into my emotional ‘junk trunk’ I imagine I will find things that are embarrassing, humiliating, uplifiing and amazing and I’m inviting you to join me. I’m going to start with some of my earliest memories and work forward. At least that’s the plan at this point. Who knows where my journey will lead me. But where it leads, I will follow, sometimes perhaps reluctantly but I will do so steadfastly and with fortitude.