I used to hate mirrors. Until one day…I stayed. I searched and I fought to find every morsel of good I could.
What would I want my daughter to see when she looked in the mirror one day?
The answer to that question was my guide. (My answer was never “it’s all awful.” Surprising, huh?) I showed up day after day and tried to SEE that girl in the mirror and love her the way I already loved my daughter. Speaking words of kindness to myself – out loud. (Embarrassing and odd? Yep. Worth it? Yes.) I looked in that mirror and I took the time to tell myself I had beautiful eyes. They light up when I think about the precious people in my life. Saying thank you to my full, beautiful lips that smother kisses on my little ones. I cheered on the woman who was fighting to love herself, her people and her God. And one day – I realized those words spoken out of discipline had grown roots in my soul.
So now it’s bliss when I look in the mirror and see my reflection, right?
There are no magical unicorns prancing and not every glance in the mirror yields a, “WOW, I’M AMAZING” moment.
I have days where I don’t love what I see when I look in the mirror. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming. And discouraging. PMS bloating + the extra hormones are kind to NO ONE.
So, I bring it into the light. I grab my phone and send that completely honest, soul-bearing text message to a friend about how I’m really doing. When I’m binging on food due to emotions – I tell her. If I’m feeling worthless – I tell her. When I’ve taken an hour to get ready and I’m feeling like I’m in utter despair because nothing looks good and I’ve decided to never leave my house again – I tell her. Because leaving it in the dark? That’s what KILLS me.
How do you get rid of monsters? You let the light in. You grab the ugly truth and you drag it into the light with a trusted friend.
When I’m stuck in the throes of body shame, I look deep into my very own eyes and I remember the path this body has walked. This body God gave me carried three children. It ran two half-marathons, and walked through the hell that is Lyme disease and with His help (and the help of so many along the way) – has found a way through. I tell her out loud that she is beautiful and I will be kind to her because I’d want that mirror to be kind to my daughter, too.
So today, let me hold the mirror up for you. Guess what I see…It’s obvious…I see a beautiful person that was crafted with such extravagant, intricate detail. Do you see her? Recount the beautiful truth to this precious person.
Because when we fight for that girl in the mirror, I’m convinced that with a whole lot of God’s grace, together, we will raise daughters who hear that their body is a gift. They will know deep within that they were fashioned with that precious nose and those sweet eyes and that beautiful hair – JUST LIKE YOU HAVE BEEN. Let us not push off compliments, but find the gut-wrenching courage to say, “thank you.”