About Me...

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In a nut shell : I'm a full time working mom, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a breast cancer survivor of almost a decade and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Life Lesson #134 ~ The Girl in the Mirror





"WARNING: Reflections in this mirror may be distorted by socially constructed ideas of 'beauty'." ~ Anonymous

How many times as women, even as men do we look into the mirror disappointed? We feel less than ordinary even, like we can never compare to the world's idea of beauty and perfection.  How many times growing up, did we step back into the shadows, afraid of our own reflection? How many times we were scared even to be ourselves? The fear of being judged by the outside world or even those close to us was stronger than drowning many times. I don't know about you, but the mirror has not exactly been my best friend through the years. Be it as a teenager, as a young woman, during chemo and the after effects of  breast cancer or turning 40, I have never had a great relationship with the mirror. In fact I was happier when I couldn't see my reflection, nose tucked away inside a book, hidden from the outside world in my room. I hated girly magazines, name brand and trendy styles for the most part because none of those things were me and not a one really defined who I really was. Sure I would read F. Scott Fitzgerald. His thoughts made sense to me. "She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad. No, she wasn't beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul." I'd think to myself this is how it should be, how we should all see ourselves and each other. Still I could never really accept I could be beautiful and so I never really made eye contact with the girl in the mirror. To me, she was not worth the time. My mind understood being unusual was a gift but my eyes, my heart could never quite get on the same page.

I never felt like I had to prove anything though,and I was content in that but the world's overpowering need to compete, on every level kept me behind the curtain and in the shadows.  If my friends or classmates were gathered around the mirror, I was hidden at the back, out of sight. The only time I felt confident stepping out of the shadows was when I was singing be it a graduation or a wedding or anything else in-between. My heart was in it, and I loved the art of voice to lyrics and lyrics to notes. Outside of music though I always felt like too much of something or not enough. Much like DailyDose conveys, "I don't see anyone as my competition, We don't have the same goals, ambition or brains, We're not the same." The problem is however, the world and society hasn't always whispered that same message into our ears as we've stood in front of the mirror now have they? I'm so thankful despite my lack of self-confidence my parents always believed in me continually reminding me of what Psalms 139:14 says ,"I praise You, for I am awesomely, wonderfully made! Wonderful are Your works—and my soul knows that very well." Because of this I was reminded daily, I was not the product of a fake, me obsessed world but the masterpiece of a loving, perfect God. I may feel imperfect in societies' evaluation but in my Father's appraisal I am worth more than gold, perfect in my imperfections. I have scars, I have hurts and I have been to battle as a breast cancer survivor. None of those things define me but my response to those struggles do. I've never looked at my refection in the mirror thinking I was better than another. I used to see defects, flaws and inadequacies. Now when I look at the same girl in the mirror I see His strength, His plans and I ask myself how can I accept the changes gracefully? How can I rise above my insecurities and lift others up ahead of myself? For me, as a women, having faced the fire time and time again I believe, "Strong women aren't simply born. We are forged through the changes of life. With each challenge we grow mentally and emotionally. We move forward with our head held high and a strength that can not be denied. A woman who's been through the storm and survived is a warrior." (Attitude to Inspiration)

What I'm not, is a competitive person, and I never have been. If anything, I have been willing to take a step back giving the spotlight to others. I prefer being behind the curtain, giving props and applause to those I see as more deserving. It's who I am, part of my character. But that doesn't always mean I'm less than anyone else in the room. And that is the lesson of Life Lesson #134 ~ The Girl In the Mirror. What do I see today when I look at my own reflection? Well, I see the woman I was created to be, imperfect, chipped, blemished, dented and stained. But I also recognize I've found myself and my place in this world. After all there is great truth in Maya Angelou's words, "A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense. And arrives at her destination, prepared to be herself and only herself." And that is my truth as well. I'm content with the life I've been given, the life I'm living. I'm not perfect nor am I striving to be. I'm not looking to appear happier or to be living a better life than anyone else. I am simply fulfilled. Even on the bad days when I'm sad or when things aren't going perfectly I'm content. I know my value and it's not based on the image I see in the mirror but in the reality of who my Father created me to be. I guess you could say, I've reached a place in my life where I fully understand that even with all my flaws, Ecclesiastes 3:11 is true, "He has made everything beautiful in its time."

As the woman I have become today, I've started pulling back the curtain covering the girl in the mirror. I have stepped out of the shadows finally. And I'm beginning to look more often at my reflection through my Father's eyes rather than my own. At 43, I write not to impress or prove my happiness to anyone. Simply I take pen to paper because it's how I breathe, how my pieces cohesively work together, how I find the parts of me not yet sorted and how I've learned to accept the girl staring back in the mirror. What I know, is that my life is my own, unique to my Father's design and no one, no matter how hard they may try can be me, nor I them. I haven't in any way arrived at my final destination but I do have a heading. Through trial and error, I have slowly come to understand ,"A woman who walks in purpose doesn't have to chase people or opportunities. Her light causes people and opportunities to pursue her." What I'm working on now is letting the passionate, creative woman I am out of her cage.  It's taken a long time for me to get here, to accept I have worth in a world full of absurd and ridiculous expectations, but I'm on my way. I am now capable of  living and breathing, embracing and revealing the girl and the woman I  truly have become. I am no longer afraid of facing myself in the mirror even when I'm struggling with what I see. I understand my worth, even if those that judge me do not.

My advice? Stop trying to prove yourself to people and just be the original authentic you that you are. Go on, take a look, see the beautiful woman God has created you to be. And hold on to the powerful words of Scott Stabile as you do. "Let them judge you. Let them misunderstand you. Let them gossip about you. Their opinions aren't your problem. You stay kind, committed to love, and free in your authenticity. No matter what they do or say, don't you dare doubt your worth or the beauty of your truth. Just keep shining like you do." So go on, pull back the curtain. Take a good look at the girl in the mirror and see yourself as your Heavenly Father does...beautifully imperfect.

"Be yourself, no matter what other people think. God made you the way you are for a reason. Besides, an original is always worth more than a copy." ~ D.I. Quotes

~Christina

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