What’s your usual reaction when you look into a mirror? For most of us, it’s critical or negative. We hone in on our perceived flaws and just like that, we become blind to our beauty. For many years, at the sight of my own reflection I thought, “Ugh.” All I could see was my frizzy hair, the gap between my teeth, the clogged pores on my nose. On really bad days (often hungover, which didn’t help) I would say something like, “Oh my god, I look like roadkill!”
Roadkill….imagine the effect that image had on my inner self, on the little girl inside me. It’s so mean, so unkind! We all do it. What unkind things do you say to your reflection in the mirror? I’m so fat. I look 100 years old. I hate my nose. My teeth are crooked. Or even worse things: I hate myself. No wonder nobody loves me.
We compare ourselves to models and actresses who have millions of dollars and personal stylists (and who are photoshopped on top of it) and feel like we can’t ever measure up. In a society that glorifies youth and superficial beauty it’s hard to see our own stunning radiance.
But if we don’t see it in ourselves, who will? All love begins and ends with self-love. And you can start right now, today, every time you look in the mirror. Louise Hay calls this mirror work. It can be as focused as intentionally repeating your affirmations or “I love you” to yourself while looking into a mirror, or as casual as smiling and saying “Hello gorgeous!” every time you catch sight of your reflection. I do this, and I can tell you it’s powerful! I no longer shy away from my own reflection. I love that woman in the mirror, and I really do think she’s beautiful.
If you find that it’s hard, or it feels silly, or your body has a visceral negative physical reaction, it means that there’s something deep inside you resisting the idea of self-love and you really need to give it a try. The child inside of you needs healing and is craving kind words.
Here’s a short video from the matriarch of mirror work herself, Louise Hay (who is 89 by the way), where she explains to an audience how she does it: Mirror Work.
How about you, gorgeous? What do you say to yourself when you look into the mirror? How can you be kinder?