There are 2 huge questions we ask ourselves that help create our personal reality.
Who am I? Am I worthy of love and respect?
In a life lived in front of mirrors and social media, it often gets boiled down to one question —How do I look?
Self-esteem, confidence, personal happiness gets left to the arbitrary standards set by media, unspoken messages and peers. our personal look standards create our worthiness set point.
Think about that for a minute — whatever standard you’ve created for what’s “good looking” and what’s not, is determining a large percentage of your self-worth.
Self-worth, the value of all the impact, love, intelligence, creativity, and wonder that you add to this world.
Self-esteem, the value you put on your existence, possibility, and contribution.
Why do we give so much value to our mirror, our own judgment and to those around us? Validation from others who may not know anything else about us. Those who see our faces, and create assumptions the same way they create judgments about themselves, every morning when they look in the mirror.
What would a bully say?
“Look at that zit, you’re ugly, you’re fat, you could loose an extra couple pounds, look at that saggy skin, your hair looks stringy, can’t you find any clothes that look good on you, your eyes look puffy, you’re getting wrinkly, look at your grey hair, I wish your eyes were bigger, your lips are so skinny, when are you ever going to lose those 10 lbs you’ve gained, who would ever want you? who could ever love a morning face like that? get some makeup on, cover up that face, nobody could ever love you without makeup, you need to get your teeth whitened, you should do something with your hair — it looks greasy and limp, oh look, another zit? that’s just gross! put on some baggy clothes, don’t go to the beach, don’t speak up in the meeting today, put on a hat to hide your forehead, stop trying to look good, you never will.”
Why is it so easy to think of bully comments that come to our minds when we look in the mirror? Because they are there, I’ve said them to myself. They’re natural, defacing, demoralizing and hurtful.
Somehow we’ve allowed ourselves to say these horrible things to ourselves. We’ve allowed our own, bully hating soul to yell these painful messages into our ears every morning. To say words we would be horrified to hear from someone else, to repeat mantra’s we would never say to another soul.
Yet we repeat them over and over to ourselves, thinking nothing of their destructive force.
If there’s a bully in our mirror, how can we ever face the day feeling confident and loved? How do we think we can just brush this off and be able to quickly answer the question “Do you really love yourself” with a quick “Of course I do!”
That mirror conversation is damaging. It is not loving you. It’s the most destructive force in your life.
“Ok, I get it, I’m hard on myself, but that will help me get better!” Right, like that little kid that’s getting bullied on the school yard. Do you think that makes him a better kid? Is that helping? Yes, that’s what you’re trying to convince yourself of. That your personal bullying is actually helping.
What if we could change that? Change the conversation with our mirror. Change the automatic texts and voices that are running through our minds. A constant stream of detrimental language breaking us down and bruising our souls?
I know we all know how to be a friend. We’ve had close friends, children, pets that we’ve looked at and loved unconditionally — we know how to do that.
Take a minute to think of a close friend. The feeling you feel when you look at them. If you can get past first thinking of yourself and wondering if they see that new zit creeping up on your left cheek, what do you see?
Beauty, possibility, humour, intellect, charm, kindness, fun, warmth…?
That’s the gift. the loving kindness of a friend. Seeing so much more than the face value. Seeing more of the being in front of you. Feeling the emotion of all the history you’ve shared, seeing all the amazingness of their entire being. Liking them for who they are, completely.
What if you could look in the mirror like that?
Seeing your own face, with the same compassion and whole-being sight that you see your friend or your child. An unconditional love that quietly notices and doesn’t notice their beauty all at the same time. It’s like having soul glasses, the kind that gets clearer as we let go of our own self-judgement glasses.
Have a best friend in your mirror. Greet them every day. Practice, recreate a new language, build up a repertoire of new salutations.
It’s time to create a relationship with your reflection that leads to a better day, a better year, a lighter step and a softer heart.
And it won’t happen over night. Bullies love to come back, especially on bad hair days, when new zits pop up, after break ups, set backs, sick days and hard knocks.
Beat your bully, find your best friend….right in front of you.
As originally published on Medium