I walked into the gym and saw buff people everywhere. Usually I spot one or two wannabes like me, but on this day it was all buffness. Buff young, buff old, buff meek, buff bold, buff men and women. And as much as it reads like a Dr. Seuss book, I was anything but charmed. All that buffness left me feeling entirely… unbuff, old, frumpy, jiggly… you name it.
I donned my bathing suit and hopped into the water. It was a good swim and I felt decidedly better about the world. And myself. I was athletic. Svelte. Buff. Me.
And then I made the mistake of looking in the mirror after my shower. I immediately saw the grey in my hair where the color had grown out, When did all that get there? Then my eyebrows – How did I miss that they had become one long caterpillar inching across my forehead? And then the deep, red wrinkly circles left by my goggles, the jiggle in my arms…
Nice. In one workout I’d become an elderly, wrinkled raccoon sporting a unibrow.
I fluffed my hair, put on some lotion, all with a critical eye to the woman looking back at me in the mirror.
Later on I was riding with Wilna in the car. She’s a beauty – dark, sparkling eyes, gorgeous smile and her newly braided hair highlighted her face perfectly. I looked over to see her eyeing herself critically in the car mirror. “I don’t like how this style makes my forehead look,” she said.
“What?” I didn’t get it. All I could see was her beauty.
I thought of myself and how I’d looked in the mirror earlier that day. I thought of every good female friend who’s confessed to feeling old or frumpy or unattractive or wrinkly.
I mean, guys don’t do that, right? They look in the mirror, give their image a thumbs up and a wink and off they go to conquer the world.
So why do we women see the worst in ourselves in front of that same dang mirror?
It’s time to stop – so I came up with a plan: One kind word and one word of thanks. Every time I look in the mirror I need to say at least one kind thing about the lady facing me.
Love those wrinkly dimples.
You’re rocking those age spots.
And then a thank you.
Thanks, God, that I can grow eyebrow hair at such an usually fast pace. And sure, my raccoon eyes prove that my skin doesn’t bounce back like it used to, but on the bright side, I can now shape it like play doh and really have some fun.
So I want to challenge you ladies (guys, if you don’t do the whole thumbs up, I’m awesome thing, please feel free to join) – be kind. Be kind to yourself. Say one kind word and one thank you to the One who created you. Honor the artist. Next time you look in the mirror, every time you look in the mirror – find something you love about that face – thank the creator and get after your day.
You got this.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14