Friday, November 19, 2010

How Do You See You?

Today, my Blissfully Domestic post went live.  Instead of requiring an extra click (because it's Friday and we are all tired), I'm just posting the whole thing here.  I write for the health section had have been doing a series about food addiction.  However, this month, I struck out on another path and wanted to share it with you.  A lot of this came from the responses from my Simple Pleasures link-up about my legs.  Hope you enjoy it!

How Do You See You?

Pimples.  Cellulite.  Flab.  Wrinkles.  A gray hair.  What do you see when you first look in the mirror?  Do the negative attributes jump out first?  Do you rush to lament the extra five pounds you gained?  Do you stress about the number of lines that appear on your forehead or the gray hairs that seemed to have eluded the last root touch-up?  Do you throw up your hands in frustration because no matter how much you exercise or how little you weigh, those little dimples never go away?

Choose to See What’s Right
Recently, it occurred to me that every time I looked in the mirror, what came to my mind first was the bad and the ugly, never the good.  It is ever so easy to find my flaws and to strategize on how I might be able to fix them.  With all the negativity taking up precious brain matter, it doesn’t leave much room for appreciation of what is good, of what is lovely.  The fuss over the “fixing” crowds out the opportunity to take pleasure in the imperfect. When I look at the mirror, I can choose to focus on the cellulite that appears on the fronts of my thighs.  I can turn around, view my backside, and tremor at the sight of jiggles.  Or, at the onset of these fixations, I can choose to see what is right with my body.  I can flex my calves and see the muscular curvature.  I can lean in close to the mirror and admire the golden flecks that sparkle from eyes.  I can be grateful because my heart still beats, my lungs still take in air without a struggle, and my legs still enable me to run far distances.

Media vs. Reality
When we look in the mirror, we need not to juxtapose ourselves with media images of perfection.  We can come to a mental place where we no longer use it as our measuring stick.  We do this by choosing to find joy in what we like about ourselves. When I learn to see the pleasurable and lovely things in the mirror, my self-talk changes.  When my self-talk changes, I have the power to project a positive self-image, which is good for me and for my daughters, who constantly absorb my words and actions.  I’m sure my daughters would agree that I am no super model. However, the fact that I don’t complain about my weight or my pimples or the wrinkles that grace my face, shows them that it is quite acceptable to not be a super model.  There is something lovely about each of us.  There is something of beauty to celebrate in everyone.  Teaching ourselves, and the generations that follow us, to recognize this allows us to shirk the media images, to live healthy lives, and to live out who we are created to be.

I'm linking up with Rachel Anne's Home Sanctuary and Michelle at Lost in the Prairies!  Come see all the wonderful women there.

To view this article at Blissfully Domestic, please click "here."

13 comments :

  1. Jen, Again, wonderfully written and I do choose to find joy in what I like about myself, even those wrinkles that are beginning to appear. I choose to call them "character marks." :o) It's way to easy to get caught up in what the world views as "beautiful people." I try to always remember I was created in His imagine and that is good enough! Happy Friday!

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  2. Great post, Jen! I have started noticing the wrinkles when I look in the mirror. I do TRY to notice the positives, though. ;) Just so you know, when I look at you, I don't see any of the negatives you see. I see LOTS of positives! :) So many sometimes, that I start to compare myself, and I don't feel I measure up. Yes, really. Silly, but it's true.

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  4. True, true...so much to be thankful for...even those wrinkles! They're just laugh lines, right? No matter where they are?? HAHAHAHA! Love and smiles to you for your weekend!

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  5. I don't bother to color my grey hair... it's a badge of honor! And I PROMISE to stop griping about the 10-lb "spare tire" I've gained (but I will work out...) Yay for not having to be perfect! Thanks for posting, Jen, as always.

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  6. Today I was out shopping for a new shirt for my husband's christmas Party. One of the shirts was a little "tight" and showed off all of my "extras". My friend and I were laughing as she called it the curvy bits and I referred to myself as Ruebanesques after the painter. Why I can't think of myself like that all the time is frustrating. I too am trying not to comment negatively about myself in front of my daughter and continually tell her how beautiful God created her to be. Thank you for sharing this today Jen!

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  7. How funny - did you read Michelle's post today? You two are on the same wavelength...:)

    Love it - you are such a good writer, Jen. I love your spirit and thank God that He has intersected our lives. I hope you can go to Relevant next year as I know Erin and I would love to meet you in the flesh!!! :)

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire
    http://www.mommyonfire.com

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing these encouraging thoughts. Your words make me think of my grandmother and how beautiful she is, from the inside out.

    I appreciated your comment today as well. If I can start getting up and taking time for the most important priority first, He could more easily grant me that peace you mentioned.

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  9. Beautiful. Thank you. I am going to start looking for something positive in the mirror first.

    Stopping by from SITS.

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  10. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You :-)

    ~Ron

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  11. What a great post! I needed this one. It is especially convicting as I have a 13 year old daughter watching and listening to me.
    Have a great weekend!

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  12. Great post! It is so hard to look at the good things...I can be so fixated on fixing this and that. I tell my girls all the time that they are perfect because they are exactly the way God made them, but then I critique every inch of myself! I am working through this, so love your practical points!!!

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  13. I love that last paragraph! Media has too much power over us sometimes. Should be posting my Compassion sponsorship post tomorrow.

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