Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
who is the fairest of them all?

It has occurred to me that God created no mirrors in the garden of Eden. He was the mirror.

“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
(Genesis 1:27 NIV)

When he created Adam and Eve, he looked at them. They looked at each other,they looked at God. No where does it say that they spent time looking at their own reflection. They didn’t even know they were naked until “their eyes were opened” after eating the fruit. The knowledge of good and evil. I think it is the evil side of knowledge that draws us to look at ourselves, focus on ourselves and feel shame. Feel disgust. Feel not good enough.

God said, “who told you you were naked?”
Mirror, mirror on the wall.

I don’t think we were every meant to stare at ourselves, to look at our bodies and analyze, compare and hate the reflection we see. To be consumed with the desire to “look” good enough in order to “feel” good enough. This doesn’t come from God. It comes from sin.

We are meant to reflect the image of our creator. We are meant to be mirrors for others so that they could see their true beauty reflected through our eyes instead of the reflection on the wall. We are meant be a reflection of God not a reflection of ourselves. We are supposed to see ourselves through God’s eyes and not our own.

I met with a beautiful vivacious 16 year girl this week. She is on a diet – a dangerous diet of the mind. In her short life, she has already struggled with anorexia. She had already been down that road of starvation to “feel beautiful”. I see her slipping even now.
“Bathing suit season is approaching” she says as she slumps in the chair across from me as the baggy sweatshirt and sweatpants she wears swallow her up. Yes, bathing suit season is approaching . As I write this the sky above California has opened up and a cold rain and bitter wind slap at the windows. Bathing suit season is approaching. Mirror, mirror on the wall.

You know, I never feel beautiful when I look at myself…ever. But I feel beautiful when my husband does. I didn’t for a long time. About 10 years into my marriage, I was leaning close to the bathroom mirror to apply mascara when my husband said to me “you are beautiful“. I was about to reply with “whatever” when the thought “how many years will you have to hear this before you believe it is true? You are beautiful to him. It is time to choose to believe it and receive it.” Instead of replying with a sarcastic role of my eyes and a self deprecating comment rolling off my tongue, I said, “thank you- I am” instead. It was a game changer in my life. I chose that day to stop seeing myself through my own eyes and see myself through his. He had proven himself trustworthy and had faithfully repeated the words daily for a decade. The time to believe the truth was overdue. It was definitely time.

Mirror mirror on the wall.

I also have found that I feel beautiful when my boys smile at me. About 5 years ago, in an effort of entertain my then 4 year old while we were waiting for something, I gave him my camera . This was back in the day before my camera and my phone were the same thing. He started to take pictures of all the things around him and then turned the camera toward me. He took a picture of me and for the first time- I saw myself through his eyes. It is one of my favorite pics of myself. I don’t have much if any make up on or am all put together- but I am smiling at my little love. And the love that comes shining out of my face is beautiful. I don’t smile at myself the same way. Maybe if I did, I would feel beautiful when I looked in the mirror.

Mirror, mirror on the wall.
How do I look?

The irony is that in this moment, I am at a salon getting a beauty treatment. I am getting a deep conditioning for my hair to combat the damage of coloring it. Even as I sit here under the hair dryer a bag on my head looking like a caricature of a woman spending her morning in a salon, I am vitally aware of the difference between “looking” beautiful and “feeling” beautiful.

The feeling, emotion, state of being, this feeling , “beautiful” does not come from outside looks. It comes from an inward knowledge that you are loved and beautiful. If you feel ugly, dirty, shame filled or lacking, there is no outward beauty, no reflection that will truly convince you different. It might make you feel better, give you hope that it might be true but it even that feeling will fade as fast as the make up on your face or the hair do on your head.

But if you believe you are loved, cherished chosen and beautiful on the inside, if you choose to receive this truth, (and it is a choice) then the outside work becomes an extension of this belief. Your appearance becomes a creative expression of self. A free canvas to play with and enjoy. To be healthy and fit is about celebrating who you are instead of punishing yourself for what you are not.

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27 NIV)

You have to look at the right mirror to get the right reflection.

It is time to start seeing ourselves through love’s eternal reflection and let the rest come from that.

Mirror, mirror of my soul,
You are the fairest of them all.

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2 thoughts on “Mirror, Mirror

  1. Bonnie says:

    What an awesome thought just the fact that we are made in God’s image and how could anything be wrong or flawed with that fact.

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