Heartwings Love Notes 944: Mirror, Mirror What Do You Say?
Heartwings says, "What you see in the mirror depends on how you see yourself."
By employing self-discipline and restraining his appetite, recently Stephen lost fifteen pounds, and it shows. I told him he was my skinny husband, and he replied, "When I look in the mirror that’s not what I see." I know what he means. No matter how thin I have ever been in my life, I could never see it for myself. I was a well-rounded child who wore clothes that were labeled "chubby." I was conditioned from my youth to see myself as being overweight. Perhaps my mother thought if I were satisfied with my appearance I’d gain weight. I believe her mother had been merciless when it came to what constituted being even slightly overweight.
My experience is that as a result of our conditioning, what we see in the mirror is not necessarily accurate. What we see is governed by what we think. If we believe ourselves to be overweight that is what we will see, regardless what the truth may be. Sometimes I see old photos of myself and marvel at how slender I appear, yet I remember that at the time I thought I needed to lose weight. Women who suffer from eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia have a distorted view of themselves and their appearance that leads to the perpetuation of these disorders. They have no idea what they actually look like and persist in seeing themselves as in some way less than what they wish they were. Although I don’t have to deal with that, I do sympathize.
I once had a graphic experience that showed me the truth of what I’m describing. I was walking through a clothing store where I was meeting a friend. I noticed an attractive sweater lying on a sale table, picked it up and put it on. When I stood in front of the mirror, I thought it looked rather nice. Then I realized I had one at home that was very similar, as well as the same color. I was still looking into the mirror when right before my eyes I saw the sweater change radically. It went from attractive to ill-fitting and unattractive. When I had thought I wanted it, it appeared nice. When I realized I didn’t, it no longer looked desirable.
To be sure I hadn’t moved any part of my body or changed my position between the two thoughts. I was still looking at myself when my image altered. Magically, wrinkles appeared where there had been none before. Clearly the sweater no longer fit properly! The whole garment looked quite different from the way it had when I first put it on. What a wonderful lesson that was. I never forgot it. Now, although when I look in the mirror, I attempt to see what is before me truthfully, I realize I must be content to accept that what I see is my personal vision of me, not how others may see me.
May you see clearly and not fall prey to fears or expectations.
Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert
PS Has anything like that ever happened to you? Do you see yourself as you truly are or as you think you are? I love it when readers share. Do write to me at tashahal and also check out my website for more love noes you may have missed at www.heartwingsandfriends.com