What do you see when you look in the mirror each day?
A thining hairline, a new zit, a worse wrinkle, an extra cupcake that shows up in your chin?
Maybe you see the stress and anxiety on your face and the sleep deprivation in your eyes.
Do you smile at yourself or do you sigh?
I see different things in the mirror at various times throughout my life.
I couldn’t remember what I saw in the mirror when I was a little kid. Perhaps I only saw my own reflection, nothing more and nothing less.
The troubling times started during my teenage years. Blame it on my raging hormones, but I no longer saw my reflection in the mirror.
I saw my pimples, my pores, my imperfect facial features, my less than ideal body, and everything else not portrayed as desirable in the media.
This obsession got worse over time. Just like the evil queen in Snow White movie, I would get my answer from the mirror to the question “Am I beautiful?”. The answer was almost always no.
The funny thing is that my answer to my friends’ same question “Am I beautiful?” is always yes.
You know what usually happens after we tell our friends that they’re beautiful, right? They start to list all things that are supposedly “wrong” or “ugly” with them.
I would laugh and reply to my friends that nobody is holding up a magnifying glass to see this tiny zit, this faint line of wrinkle, etc.
However, when I was the receiving end of their yes to the same question “Am I beautiful?”, I had their reactions and proceeded to do the exact thing of listing off all my imperfect points.
Why is it that we dismiss others’ compliments about us? Do we genuinely think that our friends lie to us every single time we ask them about us?
It comes down to one thing: our unhealthy sense of self.
Our view of ourselves is the most important than others’ opinions.
If we think of ourselves as too good, too perfect, we’re exhibiting vain and narcissistic trait.
If we think of ourselves as too undesirable, too bad, we have low self-esteem.
Neither end of the spectrum is good or right, regardless of where we fall on that spectrum, we value our views much higher than anyone else.
But why do we hold on to such impeccable standards and we judge ourselves on things that change constantly?
Our skin will never look the same as yesterday. My 21 years old skin wasn’t perfect and my 30 years old face undoubtedly wouldn’t improve.
However, my brutal honesty hasn’t changed. My loyalty and kindness haven’t changed. My loves for dogs (and chocolate cakes, and many other things) haven’t changed.
Doesn’t it make more sense to look at those qualities in the mirror?
Now, when I look at myself in the mirror, I see my crooked smile is still bright, I see my heart is still capable of love, I see my mind is still open for new wonders.
I see my friends are more beautiful than before. I see my family are more precious than before. I see the world are even more beautiful than before.
So take a look in the mirror again today. I hope you base your answer on something more important and less changing than your facial features.
I hope you see your loving heart and your warm smile.
I hope you see how amazing you are.
I hope your answer to the question “Am I beautiful?” is a resounding Yes.
This article is also published on Elephant Journal on how to answer the question that every girl, woman, and likely most men ask “Am I beautiful?”. https://www.elephantjournal.com/2018/12/answer-to-question-am-i-beautiful/