When we are invited into a conversation with a person going through a period of self-discovery, it is an invitation of trust.
To be fortunate enough that someone chose to share their growth journey is an experience not to be taken lightly. It is amazing to be included in this self-discovery process, because some valuable lessons can be learned along the way about ourselves.
It is very humbling when another can share their inner darkest demons with us.
It can also be quite heart-breaking to watch as this person we know and love struggles as they grow and learn more about the strength that they have within. That person may not be able to see that strength just yet, but have confidence that they will. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, but at times that tunnel may seem invincibly long and dark.
Just the fact that a person starts this type of journey is a testament to their strength. By having the courage to take a peek in the mirror and realize that some things have to change in order to move forward is ground-breaking when reaching for success.
It takes great personal strength to first realize that things could be better, then to actually take those first steps in finding solutions. There are many times that looking in the mirror might seem scary and overcoming that self-doubt will seem unattainable, but with a continual forward motion, each day’s successes will build on yesterday’s struggles.
So what do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see what others see? Do you see what others don’t see?
How many times have we had a conversation about what another sees in us that we don’t quite believe? Maybe a comment has been made about a strength or conviction shining through and we’ve answered back rejecting the compliment.
How many times has someone complimented another by saying they wished they could handle a situation more like that person? Then unfortunately the answer back was self-defeating, with something along the lines of the fact they just did what needed to be done.
So today, I challenge us all to look in that mirror. I mean really look in the mirror.
There may be a person looking back at us who has had the strength to dig deeper than the lines etched on their face. Each line that we see on our faces is one that has been earned. There may be laugh lines. There are probably a few worry lines. Are there lines on that forehead or crow’s feet around those eyes? Perhaps there are subtle creases that run from those cheeks to that smile or frown. Some of us have a ton of lines. They are finely etched and they each have a story to share. In some cases it is easy to see a person who laughs a lot just by where those wrinkles are placed. Or the worry on a person’s face by the way that their forehead will furrow with concern.
The finely drawn map on one’s face can easily give an indication of a caring, fun-loving person, or one that has many thoughts dashing through their mind.
It has been said many times that eyes are the windows to our souls, and they tell our story in ways that our words never will. Looking into a set of eyes, what is being projected back? Are they big, soulful eyes? Are they deep and wondering? What color are they? Do they sparkle when a smile playfully tugs at the corners of those lips? Are they gentle in nature but can turn firm when it is called for? Eyes can light up like fireworks against a dark sky when someone is happy. They can be soft when listening to the worries of someone we care about. Like others, we have all been known to cry a few tears when our hearts are heavy.
Eyes can give away some people’s mood instantly. They are the windows to our souls for so many of us.
When looking in the mirror, is there a confidence, arrogance, an uneasiness or something else? We’ve all experienced our share of heartbreak and disappointment. Some have known what rock bottom looks and feels like, but have refused to stay there. Is there a determination or understanding that says, “I deserve better and I am not afraid to go looking for it.” in that reflection? Or maybe that look says, “I don’t know about that but I am willing to learn.” Is that person looking back one who is not going to let anything or anyone stand in the way of their reaching goals?
In some faces, it is easy to see the experiences that have brought them to this place in their lives. Perhaps one that can turn the most boring mundane tasks into a funhouse. We’ve all had the opportunity to be with someone who refuses to act their age. One who will laugh too loud. Smile too big. Say things too loudly. Hug too long. Someone that will love the hell out of another—enough to tell them to get their head out of their a**. One that will hold a hand when it needs holding and kick an ass when it needs kicking. A person who is not afraid to venture out and try new things just for the hell of it. A person who will raise their hand and say, “Oh, I don’t think so,” with an attitude to match.
Is this person in the mirror a survivor whom others see as a source of strength? Does that person have a warm heart? Will they look for injustice and speak up for it? Or is that person more comfortable in the background? Is that person someone willing to go to bat for what they believe in and those worth believing in?
We all know that someone who is willing to let others lean when they need to lean and will ask to lean when they feel the weight of the world sitting on their shoulders. Someone who has held a heartbroken teenager all night when it was called for and then has pushed a youth to reach higher for their dreams.
Is that reflection in the mirror willing to take time for themselves when their cup has gotten too full? Is it okay to say enough is enough when it is called for? Someone not afraid to let their kids, friends, and loved ones know that they are indeed loved.
Is that person in the mirror one who will take the risk to look silly and ask what some might perceive to be stupid questions? There are those who are not afraid to go looking for the answers. Those who are not afraid to be on their own. They are not afraid to love. They are not afraid to cry at a silly commercial.
They are not afraid to tell it like it is. They are not afraid of other’s opinions.
When we take the time to really look at that reflection, we may just have someone looking back at us who is actually pretty awesome. Someone worth working hard to find, and someone we would be glad we took the time and effort in getting to know.
So, what do you see when you look in the mirror?
Author: Debbi Serafinchon
Editor: Toby Israel
Photo: Anais Gómez-C/Flickr