5th September, #Project Positive. Mirror, Mirror…

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When I look in the mirror, I see…
A strong woman, and an impudent child. I look into my eyes and affirm, “look love, I know you haven’t had much rest. I know all about your pain. You can do today, you can! I will talk you through the steps, and even estimate how many hours it shall be before you get to have blessed rest. Remember how good it feels to lay down after a productive day? You can do this! You can!” That is the first thing I do every morning when looking in the mirror. I refuse to pay mind to creases and sags and wrinkles and pimples. If I wanted that sort of attention to detail, I would be sitting beneath either a cosmetician’s or plastic surgeon’s microscopic mirror. The eyes, and the smile, that is all that matters. As long as they are set for the day, the rest can be discounted. I pat a little jojoba or rosehip oil onto my visage, and off I go. I first saw my daughter studying her face in the mirror at six. Really studying it, as though they were becoming acquainted for the first time. I have her art and pretty hairbands and clips arranged around the rectangular bathroom mirror. I believe it is time to put up some affirmations too. I have practiced a lot of self-loathing in my time. I have starved myself and binged. When I was underweight, my parents said nothing. Scars and a rotund tummy were commented on, after weeks in bed after surgery. The state of my being after exiting a body cast. The puffiness of my face after steroid injections. Was I going to join the critique and wound myself further? No! I decided the most rebellious thing I could do was to discount the commentary, and certainly not join in. I have loved myself with stitches in my face, with black eyes, teeth that have fallen out due to medications, a body that gained a few stone and a body that became a puffer-fish. I decided that I had to love it all, or I wasn’t practicing self-love, rather conditional approval. It is tough and uncomfortable to look into your eyes at first. To say kind things to yourself. It won’t feel natural. I promise you, that if you keep doing it, it will become a ritual, performed without thinking. It helps to seal the wounds this world inflicts upon us. This world has enough critics. Become an encourager, and start with yourself!
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