I have a mirror in my room. It’s like any other mirror. You probably have one too. The official $10, from Wal-Mart, standard, full-length.
White bordered, FYI.
For the longest time, I thought this mirror told it like it was; that the reflection looking back was accurate- a true reflection of me. Like scales, mirrors can sometimes make you think you are fatter or skinnier than you really are and I was satisfied in my knowing that my mirror was not one of those….
That is, until one weekend Wowsie Kohly shacked up at my house and while getting ready exclaimed, “Wow, Jo I love this mirror. It makes me look so skinny.”
My world was shattered.
“What do you mean, makes you look skinny? I’ve always thought it was a regular mirror.” I replied.
“I think it’s the angle, since it’s leaning back- makes you look longer and leaner.” Wowsie added.
Turns out, since June 2008, my what I thought was a faithful mirror had been feeding me lies. A reflection of myself but under better light.
The mirror in my room was not hung up. Depending on the lighting or closeness I desired at any given moment, the mirror would move to different positions in my room with one constant. It was always perched on a little trash can I had (so it’d be tall enough to get me in it), leaning slightly back against the wall.
Recently, I came home from work and much to my dismay, the mirror was hung up. Nailed flat to the wall. Drew, trying to be a help, thought it’d be nice to do me a favor by hanging up the pesky mirror once and for all.
I took one fast look at my (now wider) reflection and immediately pulled the mirror off the wall, onto its normal stand. Whew! Self-esteem reinstated.
Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? That I consciously chose to alter what is me in my own eyes?
This mirror illustration is a very literal example of something I am pretty sure we all do- keep things, people, experiences, activities around that portray us in a better light. Even if we are only kidding ourselves.
Think about it.
Do we keep certain toys around that make it look like we have more money than we do? Do we have certain books lying around to make us look Godlier? Or trendier? Do we push away people who aren’t afraid to point out our weaknesses? Our sin? Do we use certain words to make us seem smarter? Do we stick to things we are good at for consistent validation? Do we keep certain mirrors around because we look better in them?
Totally. To a certain degree anyway.
Yesterday, on a cleaning binge, I decided it was time to come to terms with it. The mirror came off its perch, on to the wall.
You all take me as I am. Now it’s time I do the same.