So I’d say Day one of the clothing challenge was a success. At least I enjoyed my first outfit. The skirt and shoes both have some frills on them and I found myself a little self conscious at times, wondering if they looked too fussy. But then I realized, I like things a little frilly sometimes, a little feminine. The kind of clothes you can do a princess twirl in on the elevator when no one is looking. (May or may not have happened).
But because I was so intentional about my outfit this morning (more than usual) and because I’ve never worn those pieces in that order before, I found myself glancing in mirrors a lot.
Which raises the question, have you ever noticed how many mirrors there are in everyday life?
And don’t pretend like you don’t notice because you don’t really care how you look. I don’t believe you. I think most of us have days of obsessing with the mirror every time you pass it, even if it’s just the computer screen after it’s gone black, or the shiny windows with sun streaming in them, or the reflective walls of the elevator (I’m there a lot, don’t judge me).
The question is, where do you find your other mirrors?
You know the ones, the ones that exist in others’ eyes when they look back at you. It’s the picture of yourself you see in how they look at you, talk to you, treat you.
And for many of us, it’s the only way to tell if we’re really worth anything.
This is a concept I’ve been reading about in Emily Freeman’s book Grace for the Good Girl. This book is kind of changing my life (though I’m only in the second chapter) and I want to do a more full post or several on it as I go, but meanwhile, this mirror thing.
Reading similar words about mirrors in her book sounded something like hearing my own thoughts transcribed on paper. I often don’t believe an outfit is cute unless someone tells me so. I don’t know if an idea’s a good one until I’ve run it by a few people. I don’t know if I can really make the cut, until someone invites me in and accepts me.
I’ve learned the hard way, and am in the process of learning still that the mirror system is toxic. It will burn a hole in your heart and leave you in tatters, because you can try to control someone’s perception of you (believe me I do) but in the end you can’t change how they act toward you. But you can fly into a panic trying to do it.
At the risk of sounding like I’m pinning a verse on this and calling it easy, right now I’m clinging to Psalm 62:7. “My salvation and honor depend on God.” Not just my salvation, my ability to escape sin and go to heaven, but my honor and worth here on earth. Imagine. If this is really true, then what?
Not all this panic I fight when I try to do it my way.
No, this isn’t easy at all. I”m fighting it daily right now. But when I’m threatened by the sight of my smallness in others’ eyes. Or my impression of my smallness in their eyes (complicated isn’t it?), I can repeat this over and over and over again.
Maybe someday I’ll be able to believe it.
Won’t you journey with me to try?