The other morning I was shaving my legs and having all of the bad thoughts. About my spider veins around my knees and calves. My less than muscular legs. My baby tummy. My post nursing breasts. And then out of the shower, the dark spots around my eyes. My graying hairline. As I looked in the mirror I couldn’t see anything that I liked.
And this made me sad.
On top of the sad I’ve already been feeling for an array of things. For letting my high school friendships slide. For some of the mistakes I’ve made over the years and not knowing how to turn back the clock after so much time passed. For being the awkward one not knowing how to converse at a fun mom’s night out. For snapping at my children too quickly. For nagging my husband about the household chores. All of those ugly things that build up inside and just fester. All the things that others can’t see.
Years ago my cousin wrote a great post about What You Don’t See in response to seeing everyone’s perfect lives online. I think about this post all the time and about coming clean about some of the things that you don’t see. I could go on all day–basically beating myself up over all the little nothings. But that’s not what I need today–or that morning when I looked in the mirror and couldn’t find anything good.
What I need today is to find something beautiful and good within me. I need to do this every day. Because hopefully if I can see it in myself, I can see it in others and others will also see it in me. Hopefully if I can find the good and the beauty, I can continue to strive to let go of the negativity. Hopefully I can allow myself to accept some of the less pleasant aspects about myself because they are not the whole. Hopefully I can look back in the mirror and not see the individual imperfections–hopefully I can look in the mirror and smile back.
We are all a work in progress. At least I know I am.
So, I took a hard look in the mirror again. And though I wanted to quantify or disqualify every single good thing I found (my eyes look better with make-up, my teeth aren’t white enough), below is a list of some things I love about myself.
I have a happy and bright smile.
My eyes are a lovely stormy gray that change color based on many factors.
My shape is beautifully feminine and has supported the life of two.
I give my children the best affection and comforting in the world.
My voices for the characters from storybooks are rocking. As are my Disney melodies.
I take great care and pride in feeding my family home cooked and nourishing meals.
I am hand-freaking-sewing a quilt and it will be stunning.
I can make the hair stand on the back of my husband’s neck after eight years of marriage.
I do NOT make this list in vain–and honestly, I wish my list was longer. But dear, sweet reader–I want you to go look in the mirror. Or look into yourself. And I want you to share something beautiful about yourself. If you don’t want to leave your name, make one up in the comment form below.
But I implore you. I dare you. I urge you.
Share something that makes YOU happy about YOU.