Look in the Mirror

Think about the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror. I mean really looked at yourself. What did you do or say to yourself? Did you like what you saw? Did you pick at your skin? Did you lean in close and stretch out your wrinkles? Did you fuss with your frizz and try to smooth it out? Did you pinch your belly and cringe?

We have been indoctrinated to pick ourselves apart: from our gray hair, our thin eyebrows, our crooked noses, our thin lips, our yellow teeth, our crow ’s feet, our sagging breasts, all the way down to our kankles, and we have some insulting thing or another to reinforce these self-loathing thoughts.

what if when you see yourself in the mirror your first thoughts were: wow! I love you! You are beautiful!

We may not all focus on all of these things, it might be one or two, or maybe we have learned to live with a few things and just let it go. But, what do we say to ourselves while this inspection is going on?

If you are considering resolutions this year, I want to give you an idea: What if, when you see yourself in the mirror, you say: Wow! I love you! You are beautiful!

If you did this first glance at yourself every morning…imagine how this could carve your day and you into something you love.

When I posted this meme on my social media there were several positive comments, but one stuck out, “If only, I wish I could.” If that resonates for any part of you, this post is for you.

Love Yourself First

When I was a teen, my mom put a note on my mirror, I don’t remember the exact phrase anymore, it was short like, “Love Yourself First,” but I do remember how powerful it was to look in the mirror and see this note from my mom. It has taken me many years to accept this truth, fully. Even at 40 years old, and well beyond my teen insecurities, I was still bashful when someone called me beautiful.

Believe You Are Beautiful

When I ditched the dye in January of 2015, I never imagined how transformational it would be beyond the hair.

First, I made unexpected friends when I joined gray hair groups. I was amazed at the kindness and realness of these beautiful women. We all have a common goal, and we genuinely support those around us to attain that goal. From these new friends, I learned something so valuable: to believe these other beautiful women when they told me I was beautiful.

As women, we often have to learn how to believe people when they compliment us. You might know what I am talking about here; we often throw out compliments left and right to others and then criticize ourselves.

“I look terrible, but you look amazing.”

“Oh no, you’re being too kind.”

“That color looks amazing on you, but I can’t be that bold.”

“Your hair is gorgeous, but my gray is mousy, I wouldn’t be able to pull that off.”

Why do we do allow this self-deprecation? Why can’t we just accept it when someone says, “You are beautiful!” It probably starts somewhere around the realization that a compliment can often be loaded with a hidden agenda or false flattery. I mean, advertising doesn’t even hide their agenda. They flat out tell us, as women, we will be more beautiful without gray hair, wrinkles, or yellow teeth and heaven forbid you gained 20 pounds since you were 15.

Back to my point, I think, you have to believe you are beautiful in order for it to be true for yourself and then you will naturally stop doing this self-deconstruction in the mirror. And I am not talking about the beauty of just your exterior, we don’t all have to feel beautiful on the outside all the time, but what are we doing to nurture this inside and out?

Most kind people in this world would not tell someone else, “geez your thighs look flabby, and that belly is just gross!” Yet, we say it to ourselves! The truth is we are beautiful just as we were made, inside and out. It doesn’t have to be about vanity to recognize the beauty of nature in yourself. There are infinite versions of beautiful. There is something beautiful to be found in everyone, including yourself.

Image of silver haired woman with red lips and text "you deserve to feel beautiful because you are"

The Power of Gratitude

It doesn’t stop at believing others when they tell you you are beautiful, or, even, when you are able to tell yourself this. To complete the circle, we have to learn how to say honestly, and wholeheartedly, “thank you!”

Gratitude reinforces the truth of the positive message, even if the message does have a hidden agenda. It is a moment, when your brain pauses and retains this gratefulness as real and true.

Repeat after me: My beauty is not dependent on my size, shape, age, or hair color.

I realized something in the middle of my gray hair transition, I was gaining weight, I was in menopause, and it was entirely possible the weight gain would stay with me for a long time. I was right, it has stayed with me, and it has been stubborn to get off. I will continue trying to stay fit, eat right, and fit into my favorite jeans; however, I am doing it because I have a “right” weight for me, not because I think an ideal weight will magically make me prettier. I have fat, yep, that’s true. The difference now, for me, is realizing the negative tapes can be stopped and I don’t have to listen to them.

When we hate on ourselves our cells are listening. Negative thinking undermines your health…mind, body, and soul.

Before we make resolutions, to eat better, to lose weight, to exercise more, to dye our hair or not, to fit into those jeans…what if the resolution was to accept yourself as beautiful right now, as you are.

I am not saying we shouldn’t strive for a healthy weight, or that we should stop exercising. The benefits outweigh the alternative. I am saying consider the beauty of you as you are,

  • Maybe your body brought life into the world and it changed,
  • Maybe your hair is just like your beloved grandmother’s and went white at 20 years old,
  • Maybe you have survived a chronic illness and your body is keeping you alive,
  • Maybe you have laugh lines because your spouse made it their goal in your marriage to make you laugh every day.

Stop judging yourself every time you pass a mirror. Stop comparing yourself to others; you are unique and gorgeous in your own special way. Even if you find you are not what you want to be…it is all up to you to change that…but you have to love yourself before you can fix yourself.

Brené Brown asks you, “How can you let yourself be loved if you can’t be seen?” Look at yourself. See yourself. Love yourself. It is a privilege to be alive, with laugh lines, striations of life, and silver strands.

So write it on your bathroom mirror:   Wow! I love you! ♥ You are beautiful!

Shine on you beautiful crazy diamond!

Happy New Year!!

I understand that when we are embracing gray hair the question of how to feel pretty comes up. I put together my top five tips in a recent video if you want to check that out too.

Image of Joli Campbell author photoI hope you found this post educational and helpful.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share.

As always it is about so much more than the hair.

signature: Shine On, Joli Campbell

 

 

 

 

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