I know some people who avoid mirrors at all costs and I know others who
can’t seem to turn away when they see their image. What if I told you that you can make a
conscious decision about how you perceive your image?
North Carolina looks like the Garden of Eden or a fairyland right
now. Everything is in bloom. The Dogwoods are breathtaking. The flowering pear, cherry and apple trees
are awesome. The Azaleas, pink, white
and rose colored have just gone into full bloom and all the bulbs, daffodils,
crocuses and tulips to name a few are up and showing off. Along with all this beauty comes the natural
instinct of the birds and the bees. We
have a flock of Robins living in our wooded area and one of them has gone
insane. She, we believe, is protecting
her nest. She’s doing this by slamming
her beak and her body into any of our windows that she perceives harbor an
enemy. It’s been going on for
weeks. All day long, thwack, thwack,
thwack. There isn’t a solution other than to wait it out. I know, I’ve researched it and tried half a
dozen suggestions. None of them
work. Her bird brain defense towards her
reflection makes me wonder how often my perception is so skewed that I too see
what isn’t the truth.
my attention right away. I was
intrigued. It showed a psychiatrist
interviewing several young women and applying the Dove beauty patch to their
upper arms and explaining to them how to use it over the next week or so. The ladies videoed their reactions and the
first few days they reported no significant changes but by the end of the trial
period, they all reported an increased sense of well-being. They felt more beautiful. The psychiatrist then showed them the secret
ingredient in the patch. Can you guess
what it was? Nothing. It was empty.
They felt better because they believed they were going to feel
better. Several of them began to
cry. They were actually pleased that
their thoughts and not some random drug had been the key ingredient in their
new sense of beauty.
to see her mother every morning looking back at her from her bathroom
mirror. Then one morning she woke up to
find her grandmother looking back at her.
She decided right then and there to put an end to that reflection. She did not go get a face lift, Botox or any
fillers. She did something a lot cheaper
and probably much more empowering. She
decided to greet her daily image with the phrase “Hello beautiful.” She said at first it was hard to say but
after a while she realized it was causing her to smile and she found it easier
and easier, until she actually began to believe it. When she writes me a note she always begins
it with, “Hello beautiful.” It
makes me smile too.
its cover” and, ” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” are some
of the adages about our outside appearance.
But, the truth is most of us live in a society that has a standard for
attractiveness and few of us are able to completely disregard how we are viewed. The Twilight Zone with Rod Sterling had a
show that revolved around a society that forced every young woman to choose a
physical model from a menu of womanly styles when they reached the end of their
teenage years. One young woman refused. She didn’t want to look like everyone
else. She liked herself the way she was
but this was not an option. She was
forced to undergo the procedure. Her
parents chose from the menu for her and the powers that be took her away for
the process. When the last scene is
shown we see this Barbie like woman looking in the mirror and being very
pleased with what she sees. Yes, it was
extremely disturbing but like so much science fiction, it is becoming a present
day reality. I’m not against getting some “help” if that’s what
someone needs to do to feel better. As a
cancer survivor I know the importance of looking good in order to feel
good. My friend Greta Schiffman has
presented the Look Better, Feel Better program to hundreds of women cancer
survivors. The Duke Cancer Patient
Support Program provides wigs, turbans and prosthetics for cancer
patients. There are times in our lives
when we need to take a few extra steps to enhance our sense of well-being and
that’s just fine.
we can feel better about ourselves if we think differently. If we think we are
beautiful we will feel more beautiful.
I’m not talking about a narcissistic obsession with ourselves. I’m talking about a healthy view and
appreciation for who we are and how we look, regardless of another’s
opinion. We can decide to feel better by
changing the way we think, by changing what we think. We aren’t limited to our outer appearance
either. How we choose and shape our
thoughts affects every aspect of our lives.
It affects our relationships, our work, our health and our spirit. We get to choose what we want to focus on and
what we want to believe about ourselves and the world and with those choices,
we determine the quality and maybe even the quantity of our lives. What’s your choice? Do you want to look in the mirror and see
ugly and sad or like my dear friend, do you want to see happy and beautiful or
perhaps, handsome? Give it a try, “Hello Beautiful!” or “Hi
Handsome!” Maybe you can avoid ever
becoming a crazy Robin and banging your head into something that won’t ever
make you feel better and only makes you feel worse.