Thursday, March 27, 2014

Life Without Mirrors

I was doing my hair this morning and struggling with 'the look' that was happening in front. Then I came to the back and I simply went by feel. A few quick swishes with the flat iron, it felt good enough and I was good-to-go.

Because I can't see the back of my head, I have always (often) had the illusion that the back of my hair is fine. Just the way it is. No fuss. No muss. It is what it is. What I can't see can't hurt me. Carry on!

Why don't I feel that way about the hair that frames my face? Why have I become obsessed with that reflection in the mirror?

We have one mirror in the house (okay, three ... but one is behind our new TV and you really can't see it any more; and the other is in the downstairs bathroom). I am starting to wonder if it is one mirror too many.

What if the only reflection that I saw was the expressions on the faces of those who touch my life?

When I am wrapped up in a conversation that matters, I feel deep, thoughtful and all that matters is that my eyes reflect interest and caring.

When I am in an environment that lifts me up and makes me want to dance, I feel young, vibrant and full of life. I have seen pictures of myself in that environment. That girl looks nothing like the reflection in our bathroom mirror.

When I am taking care of my young daycare family, I hear and see myself in their words and actions. One does not need a mirror or tape recorder to see what my young charges see and hear. When my little two-year-old started complaining about her sore back and shoulder and every other body part, after realizing that she hadn't hurt herself I stopped and listened. I heard 'me'.

My mom thinks that I obsess too much about my hair. If I didn't have a mirror, styling the front of my head would be as simple as styling the back. What I can't see can't hurt me. As long as it feels good and is out of my face, I should be happy. Heavens! I am!! Each and every time I ask my hair stylist to please thin out the bulk in my hair, I outwardly speak the words. I am grateful for thick hair. I really am! It is better to have too much hair than not enough (but get rid of some it for me ... please).

What if there were no mirrors in our world? What if all that we knew of our reflection is what life reflected back to us.

Smiles, sour looks, joy, sorrow, elation, devastation ... would we change our look based on trying to change the expression on those who reflected what was going on inside of us?

What if all we knew of our look is what we saw in a shadow, an aluminum surface or a pool of water? Somewhat distorted, we may look better or worse; fatter or thinner; taller or shorter. My hair may still be an issue because my shadow has shown me things that I never knew about my hair ...

What if the reflection that we see in our mirror is not at all what the world sees? We may see wrinkles, gray roots and bad hair. The world may see character, wisdom and a carefree spirit. We may think that we see beauty when the world outside of the mirror may see vanity or a shallow soul. We may think we are ugly when the world sees beauty that goes far deeper than a mirror could ever reflect.

The less I enjoy the reflection that stares back at me in that big old bathroom mirror, the more I shall focus on the 'back of my head' - that which I cannot see.

When I walk away from a person, what stays with me? Is it the way they look on the outside or is it what is inside that counts? I always remember the way another person made me feel. That is something that a mirror does not reflect. To me, that is the one thing that we do have control over and that we should work on the hardest.

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