is all too often a misconception, a lie on the most basic level, depicting only the things we find wrong with ourselves on a superficial level. There is nothing of the heart, spirit or soul that is seen when watching ourselves through a looking glass. The imperfections of the physical can take on a life of its own if, when we look at ourselves in a mirror, we see only what is reflected back. But there is more … much more. The mirror cannot reveal what lives inside our hearts; the joys, sorrows, insecurities, strengths and weaknesses. The image can be deceiving if we fail to look past the obvious.
How many times in life do we hear “you can’t judge a book by its cover” and then do exactly that when looking at our own cover. We judge ourselves by the reflections of the physical and forget, sometimes, to remember that there is so much more to us than what is portrayed on the outside. We ignore the beauty that lies within ourselves and forget that we have the capacity to relay our life experiences to others seeking a kindred spirit; our experiences with all the joys and disappointments that go with them. The smiles we smile, the encouragement we, sometimes unknowingly, give, the experiences we have to share, the wisdom we have to pass on, the love we have that wells up, looking for a place to land, another soul to share it with, another heart to give it to; the possibilities are endless. Hurt and disappointment are all around us; wayward souls looking for a bit of understanding, sympathy, empathy and encouragement. Often the waywardness reminds us too much of what we already know and makes us want to close off, to forget the bad things that life has dealt us; in doing that, however, we forget the goodness that has come our way as well, hiding the joys and wonderment and then we become as lost as we thought we were to begin with.
All that is good and wonderful is within our grasp to give. The ability to share what we know and feel is something that, though sometimes difficult, is freeing on a level that will take us higher than we have ever been before. When we give of what we cannot see from the outside it allows us to forget, for a while, that which looks back at us when we look too closely at our reflection.
I am as guilty as the next person. When I look in the mirror, I see a plain-looking woman with blemishes and scars, eyes that are too big, brows that are too thick, lashes that aren’t long enough; the list goes on, the imperfections many. Those things, however, are the superficial and dwelling on them is self-centered and vain. But there is more to me than what I can see when I look at a reflection of my physical self. It often, though, takes the needs and desires, the hurts and disappointments, the joys and sorrows of those around me to remind me that I have more to offer than just what can be seen at a glance; a courage we often think we do not have within us. Yes, it takes courage to share what lies deep within us so that others can find understanding through our experiences. In my daily work, I often see people at their lowest point; sick, disheartened, disenchanted with life and sometimes, at their rope’s end. It is at those times that what I look like on the outside has no bearing on anything whatsoever, but what I have to offer from the depths of my heart that matter and make a difference.
The next time you look in the mirror, stop and think about what others see. Wonder instead about the words you speak, the prayers you pray, the empathy you are able to embrace. It will make the reflection in the mirror seem insignificant; for what we see of ourselves often has nothing in common with how others perceive us. It is important that we see with our hearts and not simply what is perceivable with our eyes, for our eyes will often deceive us and when that happens, we are of little use to the whole of humanity.
Always strive to be who you are, not who you perceive yourself to be because of the reflection in the mirror. The physical image is just that, but the spiritual and soulful image, well, that’s another story altogether and one that is begging to be told so that others, who feel they are alone, will learn that they are not. Once they know that, they can begin to see themselves in a place other than in a looking glass. And the impact has the potential to change the world, one person at a time.
Joshua 1: 9 ~Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.