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Who Do You See In The Mirror?

Written by Allanah Hunt

 

Every morning when my partner gets out of bed to ready himself for work, a small voice calls out mournfully, “that’s not me”, and I laugh to myself knowing he has either passed the mirror in the hallway or seen his face in the bathroom mirror. He jokes that it takes an hour for his face to bounce back to something resembling the image he expects to see.

And certainly there are mornings when I look in mirror and wonder what on earth happened to the young woman who used to look back at me. There are lines around my eyes, my chin doesn’t sit quite as pertly as it once did and my hair is going distinctly grey under the colour I torture it with.

I often say that nature must have a sense of humour as it seems the older I get, the less I can see.

But beyond the lines that time is drawing on my face, I see a woman who is smart, capable, warm and kind, friendly and one who genuinely cares about her friends, family and the world around her.

It wasn’t always this way.

For many years I was cruel and unkind to myself, focusing on the things that weren’t perfect about my body, my lack of tertiary education and my poor background. The woman who looked back at me was unsmiling, overweight, drab and almost invisible.

She was a direct reflection of the person I saw myself to be.

The more critical and judgemental I was toward myself the more my mirror image seemed to fade. Not in a physical sense as there was plenty of my body to go around, but in a way that was nonetheless tangible. It was if the light inside of me was being extinguished and I was becoming a shadow without a voice.

I did all the usual things. Started yet another diet, started going to the gym believing that if only I could lose some weight, then I would be able to find happiness. I refreshed my wardrobe with beautiful clothes as if I could hide myself inside them. Perhaps if I looked good on the outside, then the inside would catch up.

It didn’t work

No matter what I did to improve the way I looked on the outside, the inside still showed through. The person I truly believed I was, the one I criticised constantly, still greeted me each and every morning in the mirror. It really had nothing to do with what number was on the scale, what colour my shoes were, or what car I drove. It all had to do with me. To do with the way I saw myself.

How do I know this?

You may be familiar with this quote.

Treat others how you would like to be treated yourself

It was a large part of the background of my life and I hear it so often over social media and from parents as they raise their children. And its great advice to remember whenever we are interacting with others. I reminds us to be kind, to be loving, to be accepting, to never judge, to be empathetic and to care.

But how does this help you?

Lets see what happens when we move a couple of words around.

Treat yourself how you would like others to treat you

If you care how you treat others, many of whom are total strangers, why are you not caring for the one person who will be with you every moment of your entire life? What a difference it makes when you move a few words around. Imagine if you have been raised with this resounding in your ears? Imagine how different your life would be if you had been taking care of yourself all your life?

So if we go back to the mirror now … what do you see? Do you see someone who has been nurtured with love, kindness and care? Someone who has been praised for the successes in life? Someone who shines with the knowledge that they are important and valued?

If not, then this is your moment. This is the day you begin again.

Don’t you dare give yourself a hard time for giving yourself a ‘hard time’ all your life. No more self abuse, no more cruelty, no more unkindness.

Its time to stand up for yourself. You do not need to take a kicking ever again.

Imagine you are meeting yourself for the first time. Greet yourself with the smile you would give to a new friend. Lean forward and give yourself a virtual hello hug.

Start by asking yourself a few questions.

  • How are you?
  • How’s your day been?
  • What have you got planned for the rest of the day?

These are the types of questions someone might ask you when you visit their store. Ask these questions and any others you would ask a new acquaintance. Be genuinely interested in the answers. Imagine you are introducing yourself to someone new.

When you get dressed in the morning be as complimentary as you would be to your best friend. Take pride in how you look, smile at yourself in the mirror, put your shoulders back and stride out confidently. Keep reminding yourself to stand straight, look people in the eye and smile.

And then watch what happens.

The more confident you are, the more people will be drawn to you. And as you smile at others they will smile back giving you a lift and reinforcing your decision to care for yourself.

It will take time to reprogram your brain as you have been behaving a certain way towards yourself your whole life. Keep practising. Keep deciding and each day you will feel a little lighter.

Remember …

Treat yourself how you would like others to treat you

and watch your life change x

About the author

Allanah Hunt

Allanah Hunt is an author and founder of Power And Freedom where she works to encourage people to reclaim their personal power and create a life of freedom and joy. Your past does not dictate your future unless you allow it to!

“It is only as you take responsibility for your life that you discover just how powerful you truly are” – Allanah Hunt

1 Comment

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