I don’t know about you, but I have an interesting relationship with mirrors. There are some days when we are best friends and those, of course, are the days when it tells me how thin, beautiful, kind and level-headed I am. There are other days when all I want to do is hurt it. I imagine doing something like throwing my hand into it or putting a sheet over it.
I’m realizing, lately, that the problem I have isn’t really with a reflective inanimate object. To be honest, I would have preferred that problem to the one I actually have: the problem with myself. I’m getting deep here – metaphorical and real mirrors, people. Am I alone in this?
The worse my attitude is the less appealing my body appears to me. It’s not something I ever thought to put together. There are days when I wake up well rested-ish (I was going to say well rested, but that doesn’t really happen to parents), I have my coffee in hand and it’s drunk while still hot, my face is good and clear, my kids aren’t fighting and I get to work on time. On those days, it’s a pretty good bet I’m going to feel and act great for most of the day. Now, if my coffee spills, or my kids are stressing me out, or work has gotten away from me, my attitude shifts and BAM; there goes everyone’s day.
It gets worse if my good fitting pants are in the wash and the only shirts I have left are loose and/or ratty. Those are the moments that I know the world is ending.
Obviously this is in line with the post I put up about loving yourself; consider this expounding on that idea.
Frequently I am stressed about how huge I look in the mirror, about those bags under my eyes (I need to reconcile myself to the fact that those are just permanent. **. That was a sigh. I just sighed right there), about how my face has broken out, about my clothes not being cool enough, blah, blah, blah. Very rarely do I look in the mirror and see an average sized woman. Very rarely do I see those bags as a badge of honor – I got them being a mother, loving on my kids when they need it and taking time for me when I can get it no matter how late. Very rarely do I do that, but dang it, I should! I’d like to say that it’s society’s fault – they are the ones telling us that thin is the only form of beauty, that only clear skin is attractive and that only the most expensive trendy clothes are acceptable. I’d like to blame them, but I can’t.
Honestly, I don’t pay that much attention to what society deems beautiful. I don’t like a lot of the fashion that I see on the runway, I don’t buy makeup (and I rarely put it on, but that’s just laziness not because I don’t want to), and the bags under my eyes are the result of me not going to sleep until significantly later than my children. Society didn’t do any of these things to me. I did. I am responsible for this.
What’s more, are these things even a bad thing? I mean, yes, be healthy with your weight and body – you do, after all, want to be around for quite some time, but when did getting thin become more important than being healthy? It’s one thing to live a healthy lifestyle, but it’s quite another to be consumed with going down another size. I work hard, especially as a mom. I deserve an extra piece of chocolate and 10 more cookies if I want them. It shouldn’t make me less wanted, but in my head, I feel it.
So let me ask you this: who cares? Who cares if your clothes aren’t cool by other’s standards; do you like them? Who cares if your face isn’t as perfect looking as Fanny’s? Comparison is the thief of joy, friends. Even though I know this and I can go on and on about it, I’ve allowed it to take an integral role in my daily life. “I wish I was as level headed and happy as Randi; I was I was as fashionable as Nancy; I wish I was as thin as Josie; etc, etc.” I turn that comparison into disgust at myself and that turns into irrational emotions. I mean irrational, guys, like super irrational and they don’t all pertain to my body image. This disgust at myself can transcend into everything I do. Dropped a spoon in the sink: “My life is over! Why do these things keep happening to me??” Yeah. That’s real. Sad, yes, but real.
We are so much better than this! Aren’t we? Aren’t I? When did it become okay to tear ourselves apart? I go through thought after thought all day long condemning myself when people I’ve wronged don’t even do that. Why? What is the point?
I know my kids deserve better than me flying off the handle because I’m unhappy with myself. My husband deserves better than me picking apart everything he does just because I don’t think I do a good enough job. And me. I deserve better than condemning myself every time I raise my voice, or every time I forget to do something at work or every time my pants feel a little too tight. I need to work towards getting better, but that won’t get done with negativity.
We possess the ability to choose our own friends, and from now on, I am going to try to try to be friends with me. It won’t be easy competing with all that wit and genius, but anything worth anything doesn’t come easy.
I guess I’m worth it, ya’ll. And so are you.