A slightly different version of this post was featured here a couple of years ago. Maybe you missed it the first time, or weren’t around when it was originally posted, and just maybe you simply need this reminder as much as I do. We are more than what we see on the surface. We have lifetimes of experiences that are unique to each of us and worth sharing with others. Because we are indeed beloved. We are not mistakes, we are never too old and it’s never too late!

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

We all know the story that goes with that phrase. We know about the evil queen and the mirror. Her obsession with it. Her compulsion to be the fairest of them all. Until one day, it wasn’t true any longer. Someone younger and fairer had come along.

Don’t we all have one of those mirrors? The one that we go to for affirmation. For confirmation that we do indeed still have it all. Until one day, we don’t any more. We see our failures and our shortcomings reflected back at us in the success of others.

And don’t we all have that inner evil bitch queen? The one that tells us our looks and the things seen on the surface; our accomplishments, our accolades and our relationships are where our worth lies. The one we believe over and over again, especially the older we become.

When I look in that mirror these are the things I typically see…

Old hair (as one sweet little 5 yr. old once said). Hair that some days I wish I could afford to color and keep colored. Because I’m tired of being mistaken for my daughter’s grandmother.

Eyes that are framed by wrinkles. A face lined where it shouldn’t be and I wonder, when did all this happen?

Those extra few pounds that are determined to stick with me because I love chips and queso. And pasta. Exercise?  Not so much.

A body that frankly has seen better days. Gravity, while it keeps me tethered to this earth, is not my friend. 

I see someone who is 54 years old. Someone who doesn’t seem to have a place, or a voice, in this world. A world dominated by those who are younger. And smarter. And more clever. And more talented. And who always have something relevant to say and the ability to say it so well. I see unfulfilled dreams. I see failure. I see regret.

I see my time quickly running out…

So some days I think, why bother? Why dream? Why want more?

I had my chance.

And then I’m reminded of this…

The Fairest of Them All

But how in the world do I embrace that? Believe that? Live in that moment every day? It’s difficult for me. I’m sure it is for most of us. We all have this inner voice that continually tells us that what we see in the mirror is all there is. All that’s important.

This has been my eternal struggle; accepting and believing the fact that I am more than the sum of what I see on the surface. I certainly can’t find it in that damned mirror. I just can’t get a complete picture with it. And that queen? She lies. All. The. Time.

I’m finding that I have to make a choice everyday not to give in to those lies. To make a conscious effort to say to myself that I am beloved. In order to silence my inner critic I need to change my inner dialogue. I need to see that reflection through the eyes of the one who says I am beloved. I need to look past that reflection to see that I am more than what is on the surface.

When I look in that mirror these are the things I will see…

Silver hair. Hair that people tell me all the time they wish they had. Because it’s beautiful. And I know that when I finally do become a grandmother, I will be a damn good one. Not simply because the color of my hair says I am one.

Brown eyes flecked with gold. Eyes that have seen a lifetime of sorrow and happiness. Eyes that are looking forward to what’s ahead. And those lines? They are the map to that life. Showing that I’ve lived well and laughed much.

Those extra pounds and not let them bother me quite so much. I’m going to enjoy spending time with family and friends over good food. Because there’s love and laughter at the table. Communion at the table.

The body that gravity has a fierce hold on and embrace it. Because I still have curves that I will celebrate. Because it’s still beautiful. Because it allows me to explore trails at the park with my daughter, work in my garden. Create beauty out of chaos.

I see someone who is 54 years old. Someone who has a place, however small it may be. Someone who does indeed have a voice because my story is uniquely mine to tell. And I know it is relatable. Someone who is wise. Because some things you have to live to understand. I see dreams waiting to be fulfilled. Failure that I can learn from. Regret that spurs me to make different and better choices.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

You are, my beloved, you are.

 

“You are not too old
and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out
it’s own secret”
Rilke

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