When I look in the mirror, I’m not always happy with what I see. I peer at my bushy eyebrows or my pudgy nose, and examine every blemish that managed to still break through- even though I am long past adolescence. But it’s more than that, I see through to who I am inside and pick apart my flaws one by one, often without even realizing it. I see the piles of unfolded laundry, and the dirty dishes in the sink. I see the half painted kitchen, and the lost set of keys that made me late today. I see the people I didn’t visit, or didn’t call, and the stories I didn’t read to my children. I see the women who didn’t talk to me at church, and didn’t invite me to their party or play-date, and I see the disappointment I imagine is in my husbands eyes as he looks at my post-childbearing body. It’s not conscious and I rarely say any of these thoughts out loud, but as I gaze at myself in the mirror I see my imperfections, and I am never enough.
If you were seeing the same person I see in the mirror you would see something entirely different. You would see a beautiful girl who is talented and intelligent and blessed to have good friends and family who love her. You would see a girl who reaches out to serve others and tirelessly gives to her family, and expects little in return. You would see a girl who is married to an amazing man who loves her body just the way it is. You would see a girl who is admired, blessed, and very very lucky.
Why is this image we see in the mirror, so frequently different than the one the world sees of us? Why are we so much harder on ourselves for our faults and less likely to champion our strengths?
The world around us is telling us loud and clear, that we are not enough. They are telling us we aren’t beautiful enough, smart enough, or talented enough. They are telling us that our husbands can’t possibly love us as we are. They are telling us that staying home with our children will never be good enough, and all the while they are telling us that struggling to survive as a working mom is not enough either. If we don’t have children we are not enough, if we breastfeed we are wrong, if we bottle feed we are wrong. If we choose to homeschool we are wrong, and if we choose public school we are wrong. If we don’t wear “those clothes” and if we don’t look, “like her” we aren’t enough.
Well I challenge you to be BRAVE enough to stand up to all of that! I ask each of you to stand up to the bully in your mirror…the product of the world around you. Start really looking at yourself and see the amazing woman in the mirror. I have never met a women that didn’t have something worth admiring about her. We look at our friends and see their great contributions, their beauty and talent. We admire others from a distance and wish we could be more like them. Why is it that we aren’t brave enough to admit we are one of those amazing women ourselves?
Have the courage to really see your gorgeous smile, or your fabulous hair. Learn to recognize your own contribution to the world and don’t allow anyone to let you believe that you are LESS…that you are not enough.
I see you all around me, straightening your dress and re-applying your lipstick. I see you peeking at your reflection as you walk past the store window. You never smile. Like me, you are allowing what you see to reflect your insecurities and fears.
STOP IT! Be BRAVE. Smile at your reflection and dare it to defy you! Admit to yourself that you are beautiful, talented, or smart, and that YOU are making a difference in the world. You are wonderful just the way you are. You are enough.