Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Most Extraordinary Thing

I was putting on my lipstick looking in the bathroom mirror (getting ready to go out to eat and play bingo  NOT in some church hall I might add, but in a very nice bar/restaurant) when it struck me.

I didn't have a SINGLE solitary negative thought in my head.

Not a one.

It was the most extraordinary thing.

Whenever I'm looking in the mirror, here's what I'm saying:

           "You look SO old."  

 "Your hair looks awful."

             "Look at your skin."

              "This outfit makes you look fat."

I have been criticizing myself in the mirror  any mirror, every mirror  since high school.

In my family the conversation never focused on what was right, always on what was wrong.  What was wrong with the meal: too much salt/not enough salt; too cooked/undercooked; too tough/wrong texture.  There wasn't enough room at the table; there weren't enough people; so-and-so was over-dressed/under-dressed;  the company helped too much/they didn't help enough.  The house was too hot/too cold.  

Everything and every one was too this or too that.

This critical scrutiny, being on the lookout for every flaw, served me very well as an editor.  An editor needs to constantly search for the existing and potential mistakes.  And  I am an excellent editor.  BUT when one applies this same dissection to their everyday interactions, well, it makes for someone who is very hard to live with.  

Just ask my husband and kids.

The realization that I hadn't a self-critical thought  made me stop and think.  

What silenced that negative voice in my head?

Now a therapist will tell you that things just don't happen out of thin air.  SOMEthing happened that made me have a thought that translated into a feeling that made this change.  Honestly, I don't know what it was.  

I wish I did 'cause I'd bottle it and sell it.

All I know is that I wasn't knocking myself down.  In fact, I even felt I looked good.  

Yes, I still look old, my hair is in a weird stage of growing out, my skin is my skin, and my weight is my weight.  

But on that night looking in the mirror and seeing me, I just felt acceptance.  This is who I am.

Isn't it about time I treat myself as well as I treat others?



  1. I looked in the mirror and saw i was old......OMG what happened?

    1. I know that feeling all too well....:)

  2. Denise - Congratulations. What joy and peace there is in a quieter mind, whenever and however it appears. I am happy for you.

    1. Thank you Teri...much appreciated and a "quieter mind" is a wonderful thing as all your Skillful Means clients know...

  3. big smile, my friend. I remember a peak in the mirror during Nia class, you've come a long way. sending love from Durham. Patti

    1. Ah yes Patti...you are referring to What the Mirror Sees; I had forgotten and will reread that one soon! Thanks for the shout-out:)