“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” ~ Lao Tzu
What is the very first thing you see when looking in the mirror? Many of us tend to notice our perception of imperfections—the slight appearance of wrinkles, the blemishes, dark spots…You name it.
Now, what if you were to look even closer – beyond what some might call the “distorted image” of self? What do you see?
There have been times where my life was filled with darkness and depression. My romantic relationship was going nowhere and my personal relationships with family and friends were suffering. In my despair I allowed the ego to completely control my thoughts and judgment, and felt detached from the world.
Coincidentally it was at this point when I refused to look in the mirror, even for a moment. I felt shame for not thinking on my own and relying on the perception of others. Out of fear I was reluctant to see beyond the physical imperfections and face something I perceived to be much worse…My true Self.
For years the hurtful words and misguided image that others had of me was accepted wholeheartedly as truth. I felt it easier to believe the ignorance of another than to live with confidence and mindfulness. Continuing to dwell in the memories of the past held me a weakened prisoner to it.
This delusional mindset is shared with many women with whom I’ve shared this story. However, this mindset is actually experienced universally; as both sexes seem to have an innate desire to be better, and to essentially strive to have more and more.
“Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
It may not be that apparent right now, but if you can for a moment take a step back and see all that you have accomplished; the powerful impact you have made in this world, you can calmly and joyfully return to a place of mindfulness in the present moment.
In this touching video, women of various ages and ethnicities are shown the exquisiteness of their true reflection, despite what they see in their painful reality.
It’s your turn. What do you see beyond the mirror? I’d love if you shared your comments below.