The mirror

So what do you see when you look in your mirror?

Looking in the mirror is such a passive exercise.  We all do it several times a day when we brush our teeth, shave, put contacts in, wash our hands, or double-check our outfit.  We look in mirrors as we pass them in stores and some of us have them in our purses and cars to make sure there isn’t any unsightly spinach dangling from your incisors.

We are also a society that loves mirrors.  Well actually we just like watching, which kind of makes us all mirrors for each other.  People have plastic surgery to look better in the mirror.  We get new haircuts and stylish glasses to be better mirror-folk.  A lot of us get our self-image based on what that mirror says about us in contrast to what it says about your next door neighbor or your sibling.

The mirror doesn’t lie!

You may be able to put makeup on over a pimple, but that black head is still there and its staring at you in the mirror.  We live in a world of image management.  That face you have when you wake up in the morning is you, not the one that appears after a shower, shave, and cologne.  That mirror also doesn’t lie about what’s going on behind the makeup either.

Coming from a place where I have messed up more than my fair share of stuff is hard.  It is hard a lot of times to look myself in the mirror and be proud of what I see knowing all that I know.  Someone told me once that the hardest person to earn forgiveness from is yourself.  I think that’s 100% true because in my case I try so hard to put makeup on my blemishes so I don’t have to “see” them.  As they say I live on a river called denial.

So the only real alternative is to strip some of the makeup away and try to deal with the crooked teeth.  The last few months I have really been working on having an honest evaluation of me.  Now if you have never tried to do it, I found it harder than expected.  It was hard to look at all my mistakes which made it even harder to acknowledge my successes.  Taking personal responsibility for where you are is pretty easy when you aren’t really being realistic about where that is.

So here is a brief public inventory

  • I’m 36 and divorced (and I firmly believe the divorce was my fault)
  • I have roommates and have packed my life into a 12 x 15 room
  • I’m waaaaay too heavy, despite my clothes still fitting (I’m going to have health issues if I don’t do something)
  • I’m scared to death to really chase my dream because I have failed at so many other things
  • I’m lonely
  • I’m mad and bitter

Ok so now that everyone is either a) crying or b) telling me its going to be ok or c) wondering why I’m having a pity party, let me go to the rest.

As we know the mirror doesn’t lie and it will show and tell you when things get better.  You may not notice you are in better health and then one day your face will look 10 yrs younger.  It takes time and that’s always been the hard part for me.  I want it instantly and because of that I have always had a hard time seeing things through to completion.  But one thing I am is determined and I refuse to give up with those bullet points being on my headstone.  So onward ho!

Oh yeah, here’s a present:




6 thoughts on “The mirror”

  1. Such lovely writing and touching and courageous soul searching–thank you for sharing your struggle–it makes the rest of us feel less alone in the same stuggle. I hope you find fulfillment soon. XO

  2. Thanks for the love and the compliment Courtney. I swear I have no idea what I do when I’m writing, I’m just winging it. So it makes me feel pretty good to know that its not complete crap.

    Big love to u!

  3. So long as the mirror doesn’t crack when you look into, then you’re doing fine!
    But seriously, mirror-looking is tricky business and I’ll tell you why. When we look in mirrors we see only a snap shot of the present, and when the present is isolated by itself, when its a snapshot in time with no past and no future, it takes on an omnipotent importance. This is an importance that it doesn’t deserve. When you turn away from that mirror, walk past the display case with the mirror on it, flip up your visor on your car, snap shut that makeup case, your image, your “you” disappears. That is to say, you are not stuck in that mirror, you are not stuck in the present. It is in fact, quite literally IMPOSSIBLE to be stuck in the present because the present is ever-fleeting. My present now changes as my fingers type out each subsequent letter in this post. The p becomes the past, the s was in the future, and the o held, for one fragile thousandth of a second, my present. But now my present is so far past that o that the o is now a relic of the past. What all that metaphysical garble comes down to Stevie-O is that the past is past and the present is the most fleeting moment of all moments. Ah but the future, the future! Always ahead, never behind, and never reached. Until you take your last breath the future is always there,always changing, and always subject to your will, whim, and luck. Tell the man in the mirror, the man of the present, that your future you says hi and then get out there and start chasing down the future that you want:)

  4. I am the same way when it comes to being impatient with life and just wanting the hard stuff to be over. But, as they say, if it comes easy you don’t appreciate it. You gotta work for it in order for it to mean something.
    Now that you’ve made that list, you can start to move forward. You know now where you don’t want to be.
    You are very brave to put all this out here for everyone to see. I hope that writing it out helps you to make sense of it all.
    Take care!

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