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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Can you love what you see?

I just met someone who moved into a new house. She did the usual things people do--hang up clothes in the closet, arrange books on the shelves, fill the drawers, arrange things just so.

The one thing she decided not to do was hang up mirrors. Her only mirror is a small one in the bathroom. Otherwise, no mirrors at all.

When I asked her why, she explained that in the month she had been in the house she noticed how much more peaceful she felt about herself, that she could just move from room to room without catching herself checking her face, her body, her look. Not just checking herself, but judging herself, fault-finding herself, shaming herself for not being thin-pretty-tall-curvy-perfect enough and so on...

So much of the self-checking we do--in mirrors, windows, reflections--results in nothing good. I'm not talking about the last look in the bathroom mirror before we leave for work, or the checking for lipstick on the teeth or uncombed hair. It's the quick glances and then the often unconscious cascade of thoughts and stories and harsh judgments that eat away at the beautiful, loving and lovable beings we truly are.

So, is the answer to get rid of all our mirrors? Probably not a logical option. (But maybe worth an experiment?) Perhaps the answer is just to be aware, to stop and notice how the negative voices start to unfurl inside of us, without our even noticing. I think from these seeds sprout so much of our self-loathing, loss of energy and sexual desire, and if we repeat this often enough, depression.

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