The bathroom of our apartment features a large mirror that spreads across a his and her sink set. It is directly across from our shower. This means every time I take a shower, the mirror is right there next to me as I slip off my clothes and step in. For many people, this might not even be a passing thought, but for me it is an object I often find myself trying to completely ignore as I quickly slide the shower curtain shut.
In fact, this isn’t the only time I try to look away as I do my daily grooming. Putting on deodorant literally is torture. I stopped doing that directly in front of the mirror years ago when I realized just how much fat my upper arm could retain. It’s been an enemy of mine for as long as I can remember, whispering truths I don’t want to accept. But yesterday I did something quite novel, I looked straight into the mirror as I stood totally naked and I stared.
It was a brave act of desperation. Part of me was hoping that I’d see something I could handle but deep down I knew I’d hate my reflection. So I turned my head fearing the worst. But I was caught by surprise. I mean, yeah, I’m at my biggest size yet. And yeah, I still have my pregnancy belly. It never went away, just hangs there. But what I saw when I mustered up the courage to look was not that bad. As the shower water continued to run, welcoming me in, I realized it was something I could accept and even be content with. Now don’t let me fool you, I flip flop back and forth between acceptance and self-loathing but last night I was able to see myself a little differently. I saw a plus sized woman who just had great curves. I saw a mom that still has some spunk. I saw great legs and beautiful hair. I finally took a minute to see me.
Sometimes we get so caught up in what we think we are supposed to see that we don’t stop to see who we really are, all of the faults and features that make us uniquely beautiful. Maybe it’s time for you to take a good hard look in the mirror. A look that comes without any bias you’ve heard over the years. Just an innocent gaze of what makes you special. I know it’s easier said than done but don’t you owe yourself that?
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7