Dear Reflection In The Mirror,
There are days I honestly don’t pay very much mind to you. I get caught up in the busyness of living and sort of forget that you matter. I like those days. Because too often I measure my worth as a person by you. So, when I have a day when my boyfriend says he finds me beautiful and my son brings my a bouqet of wildflowers and calls me a princess…..and THEN I look in the mirror and realize my hair is sticking up or there are dark circle under my eyes and it dawns on me that none of that really matters much anyway.
We are inundated every day as females with this idea that if we don’t LOOK a certain way, we will be less than acceptable to this world. And I wonder who set these ridiculous standards? I’m not supposed to have cellulite, wrinkles, acne, chin hairs, body fat, stretch marks,spider veins, split ends……Fact of the matter is, I have ALL of those things. Every single one. And sometimes its easy to look at you and see all of them, or even just ONE of those things, and be far far far too critical on myself as a person. As if all the OTHER stuff that makes me ME doesn’t count. As if weight or pimples or extra fat matters more than empathy or tenderness or patience or kindness.
I am 33 years old. This body has been home to 12 babies in the span of 13 years. Six of those children came through and out of me. Pregnancy changed my hip width, my rib cage, my breasts. Breastfeeding 6 babies into toddlerhood has caused my once-perky breasts to lay far differently than they did when I was 19. Genetics causes the skin issues I am constantly battling. The Portuegese in me is to blame for those pesky chin hairs I am always having to pluck. The last two pregnancies gave me tiny silver stretch marks just above my pelvic bone that remind me of how it felt when those babies “dropped” and lay low in me, causing me to waddle-walk and sway sweet angels with my movements. The fact I have had 6 kids means I am not yet at my ideal weight. Im pretty darn close, but not there yet. I work hard to get where I am. Kickboxing every day, eating healthy, no starches. I work HARD for the body I have right now. (Which is why it really perturbs me when someone says “You’re so lucky! Look how skinny you are after 6 kids!” It has ZERO to do with luck and far more to do with hard work and determination and focus.) I’m not always fully satisfied though. UI catch that in the mirror. My ass, my hips, that little pudge in the middle. It can get to me when I catch a glimpse of you in that way.
But frankly, I am learning, with age and wisdom and discernment that I have simply been giving you way too much power for way too long.
What are you, really? Medias portrayal of beauty? A misperception in my own brain dependent on how many compliments I get that week or what kind of mood I might be in? How REAL are you?
I think my beauty comes more from the children I am raising. The way I make my man smile. The way I laugh with my friends. The flow of words when I write. The way I nurse my baby to sleep. The way I cry when I hear of another mothers grief. The way I can grow and nurture a child within my body. The way I get lost in a song when I sing. This is me.
No offense, but you really don’t matter in comparison. Not at all.
So, sorry if I only glance at you in passing and don’t stare and obsess over you like I used to.
I’m too busy living my life and being happy these days.