Thursday, November 7, 2013

“Do You See What I See?”

This post comes straight from the heart… the gut, the innermost part of my mind. It spun from a recent encounter I had with a young girl I met who shared some of her “private thoughts” with me.  She was upset and angry lashing out at the people around her. When I asked her to open up and tell me what was wrong, she sobbed and said… “I am not perfect!” I looked at her almost in shock, hugged her tight and said “Sweetheart, nobody is perfect… we are all imperfect and it is because of those imperfections that we are all different in the eyes of God, and He has a purpose for each one of us. As we continued to talk, she shared what made her insecure, she shared that some of the closest people to her including her parents constantly pointed out her “imperfections” and that she also had issues at school with some of her classmates. My heart broke for her as I continued to console her telling her that she needed to not only love herself for who she was inside but that she needed to accept and love who she was on the outside. I was baffled that what I saw as I looked at her is not what she saw when she looked at herself in the mirror; she was in fact a very beautiful girl. Word of others had messed with her so badly that her reflection gave her nothing but imperfections.

This reminds me of something a friend of mine once wrote:
“You have never seen yourself in person, just reflections and pictures. There's a theory that says if you saw a clone of yourself, you wouldn't recognize it as you, because our idea of what we look like is so different from what we actually look like.” Tony Foradini-Campos

The majority of people today are their own worst critic; in fact, people beat themselves up unreasonably both physically and mentally based on a reflection they see in the mirror. They look at that image staring back and critique every single inch without once saying something good. Maybe it’s the few extra pounds, the fact that they are aging, a little too short, a little too tall, a little too skinny, losing hair, getting more wrinkles than face creams and procedures can iron out, and it is done in front of their kids. All of this while trying to instill in them to be thankful for what God has given them? What they SEE is us… society picking ourselves and everyone else apart and they begin to do the same.

Then, of course, there are those that are blinded by their own light portraying much more than they really are. They spend a lot of time, energy and money to look great and then share it with everyone. They tell us every time they go to the gym, they post every single healthy meal they eat, how they put on their makeup and we know every single time they get their hair cut, colored or styled because they post it. They spend so much time trying to prove to the world that they are awesome, that they have an awesome family, awesome spouses and awesome friends that they don’t realize how “not awesome” it is to always talk about their awesomeness. I have a few people in my life like this and although I love them for other qualities, the fact that I also know how painfully insecure they are makes me sad because I know they are simply trying to HIDE behind the appearance instead of mending their heart. They don’t realize that what they need is a makeover on the inside; healing from within from all that haunts them from their past. They need to add value to the lives of others as much as they can and while it is totally okay to share their own  triumphs, accomplishments and victory’s, they also need to celebrate those things for people around them. These people often pick apart others and point out their faults and shortcomings.

Finally, there are those who are the way God wants us to be… they love what God has given them and welcome what he continues to provide. They make the most of everything they have and give to others constantly. They celebrate others, lift others up and although they may share happy things that are going on in their own lives… they share the wonders happening in the lives of others they know and do what they can to lift the spirits of those around them.  They recognize and own up to what is not right in their life or their personality and spend time on getting it right on the inside instead of  trying to camouflage everything with their appearance. They recognize and focus on the traits and qualities of themselves and others rather than on looks and labels. Without makeup they have no shame… they will post a picture smiling in their sweats and bed head without hesitation because they are truly proud and comfortable with who they are. These people may also be beautiful to look at ; as beauty resonates from within because of who they are.  

In a world full of false and phony, we have to remember how God sees us. We have to remember that although the outside may be important to us, what’s important is what kind of person we are on the inside and how we treat others.  We have to picture people asking us… “Do you see what I see?” and must be true to ourselves in answering that question. We must to set the right examples for our children by treating our bodies with care and kindness. We have to feed it what it needs to stay healthy and vibrant not what we want as an indulgence. We are given one life, and we must value it and live it the way it was intended if we hope to get the most out of it. We can walk with pride but not in what we have created… but rather in what God has created.

“Because you only see a physical reflection when you look in the mirror,
 it does not tell the story of who you really are.
If mirrors could show the image of your heart, that would truly be something.”
Shelley Giard


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