To The Person Struggling To Look In The Mirror

To The Person Struggling To Look In The Mirror

Once in a while, just stare at yourself in the mirror. Trust me.

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This object can be tall, small, circular, rectangular, silver, bronze, gold, black, brown, or white. The list could go on forever. This object does not talk aloud, but it does talk through words. This object does not walk or run, but it can be walked or run from. This object does not cry, but it definitely has a shoulder to cry on. This object does not smile, but it definitely watches you smile.

This object is not just an object. It has many different jobs, many different people, and many different purposes. Whether you reside in a mansion on the beach, a bench in a park, or a dorm room on campus, this object can change your life.

Have you ever hated looking at your own reflection? Have you ever struggled with finding yourself? Have you ever hated your outfit one day? I think it is safe to say that we all have experienced some sort of disconnect within our own minds.

This object is definitely a common denominator between self-image, self-expression, and self-empowerment.

When you are just a toddler running around, you would never think of this object as an important piece of life. When you're staring at yourself for the first time, you probably do not even understand the concept. However, this object has a lot of importance in our lives.

Poor body image. Self-esteem issues. Disappointment. Regret. Depression. Anxiety. Happiness. Beauty. Confidence. Each and every one of these things can be found within this one single object. No matter how big or how small your object is, there is a big meaning inside.

As I sit here writing this, I am wondering how often we as humans look at our reflection a day? If I'm being honest, probably an insane amount of times!

This object has value. Not monetary value, but spiritual value. Value that will never be taken from you. Value that sticks forever. Value that can be changed. Value that can be positive. Value that can be negative. Value that is imperative for human growth.

Close your eyes. Can you remember the first time you looked at yourself in the mirror? What did it feel like? What did you think about? What did you say?

Well, no matter what time in your life you are thinking about, I can assure you of one thing: you saw yourself in a way that no one else can see.

The best thing about a mirror is the endless chances you receive to change the image that you see. You have your entire life, if you need it, to make this view the BEST view of your entire life— the view of yourself!

It may feel weird at times. It may be depressing at times. It may be short at times. It may be amazing at times. Hey, it is okay. I promise.

The beauty about looking into the mirror is achieving and changing what YOU want to look at. If you want to see a skinner waist on yourself, you have the ability to change that view. If you want to smile bright, you have the ability to change that. If you want to cry your eyes out to this object, you have the ability to do so.

Anything with this object is possible and forever changeable. A mirror is a significant part of our everyday lives. We may be brushing our teeth staring in the mirror, posing for a selfie, or even crying our eyes out. In each of these instances, one thing remains the same: no one else can change this view that you see.

When you look into the mirror, you are creating what you see. You are creating the way you view your own reflection. No one in this world can make you think, feel, or view yourself differently in this mirror. The only person who can truly paint this view is YOU.

There are times in life where it may be really challenging. Maybe you got broken up with, maybe you failed a test, or maybe you are overweight still. But at the end of the day, you have endless chances to change this, to make yourself comfortable looking in that mirror.

Day to day, I do not expect each and every one of you to think about this object. I do not expect you to change that view overnight or even be pleased with it on a specific day. You may love the view on Tuesday and hate it on Wednesday. But guess what— you have another chance!

Between classes in college, working a 9-5, or even being a parent to a child, we lose the value of small objects in our lives. We do not think about these objects on a daily basis. Without this object, our world would lack individuality, self-empowerment, and confidence.

I truly believe this object can change people's lives when they start paying attention to "that view," that view that sticks to your soul that no one can take from you.

Next time you have the chance to stare at yourself in the mirror, I want you to ask yourself one question: "Do I like the view?"

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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I Went From Losing Weight To Lifting Weights, And Now I'm In The Best Shape Of My Life

How a change in my fitness goals changed my life.

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I am in the best shape of my life...or at least I think so, and that's what truly matters.

I look in the mirror and feel confident.

I finally feel comfortable wearing crop tops, and I'm even starting to show visible abs. But getting here has been such a difficult journey filled with eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and other physical and mental struggles that hindered my ability to achieve my goals.

I have been on this health and fitness journey for many, many years now. I've been a size 00, a size 12, and every size in between.

Through it all, I have learned so much about myself, as well as fitness and nutrition in general. My biggest takeaway that led me to overcome all these obstacles was learning to let go of my perfectionism. When I'm old, I don't want to look back on my life and realize that I spent it all trying to lose weight. So, I changed my mindset.

My new focus was to be as strong as possible—to lift the heaviest weights, rather than losing the most weight. If you too, want to be in the best shape of your life but have struggled for so long, read my tips below.

1. EAT MORE

I know, it sounds crazy. As women, we are constantly told about diets and cutting calories. If you just want to be skinny, you can do that. But if you want to be strong, you need to eat to be able to put on the muscle.

2. ALLOW YOURSELF TO HAVE CHEAT MEALS

If you have struggled with eating disorders like me, satisfying your cravings will prevent you from having major setbacks.

3. LIFT WEIGHTS

Get your butt off that elliptical and into the weight room.

4. DON'T WORKOUT EVERY DAY

Again, especially if you want to build muscle, you need rest days. These are the days where your muscles are "actually" growing.

5. DON'T RUSH IT

You will not see abs overnight. It takes a long time. But if you want sustainable results, you must treat your body right.

I hope these tips are helpful. With positivity and patience, you can achieve anything.

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