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Look in the mirror. Does the person you see match the person you feel like on the inside? How much stock do you put in appearances?

Loved the Who! But the better question is who is that person in the mirror? Normally I’m fine with the person I see — when I’m doing those daily tasks like drying my hair, brushing my teeth, or putting on lipstick. Yet, every now and then, I am utterly surprised by the person I see reflected. It’s not really and age thing either; I think sometimes I just feel different on the inside than I look on the outside.

The same happens with a fully body mirror. I’m about 20 pounds overweight I guess, but my weight’s been the same for at least 20 years, and I’m in excellent health. I do yoga regularly and some aerobic exercise, and have no problems doing those activities, so I feel pretty fit. My body feels better than it looks, and I feel thinner then I am, so sometimes it’s a real disappointment to see my whole self in a mirror.

I’m not thrilled with my smile either, but I think others find it pleasant enough. I certainly smile a lot, and generally have a pleasant disposition and a good sense of humor. I’m outgoing, but not overpowering by any means. In fact, those kind of self-assured, opinionated, or aggressively friendly people kind of scare me, and make me feel like a turtle that needs the security of its shell.

I think we are all attracted by beauty and good looks, and I used to be envious of people who were prettier, thinner, bubblier, more comfortable in their skins, but I’ve learned to accept who I am, and that includes the way I look. It’s a quiet self-assurance. I want people to be comfortable in my company, but I don’t feel the need to win their approval. I just am.

People’s personalities come out in their faces and their eyes, and that can be more appealing than beauty. That’s certainly what I look for in other people: friendliness, kindness, humor, a love of life, acceptance — and those qualities show. When my daughter was doing a photography internship in New York City, I went up and helped here with a benefit event, and they actually hired models to come in to look good in photos, and add some “class” to the event. These women could have been mannequins for all the personality they showed. They looked like shells of people with nothing inside, nothing to make one want to know them better.

I’ll admit, I’ve been surprised sometimes with what I’ve found behind people’s facades. They may not “look” like they’ll be friendly or interesting, but they turn out to be just the opposite, so looks can be deceiving, too. So, while I may be attracted by some people and the qualities they show, I don’t judge people unless I’ve gotten to know them a bit, and then perhaps well.

I love this quote from Mother Teresa: “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” Can I see that in a mirror? Perhaps not in a looking-glass, but in the eyes of those I encounter, I hope.

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