Mirrors have been on my mind; I just started reading Portia De Rossi’s newly released book Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain in which she divulges the details of her binge eating disorder, body image dismorphia, and her journey towards health and finally understanding and accepting her own beauty. Portia captures the inner dialogue of an eating disorder more precisely than I could ever describe; it is a beautiful, brilliant read.
Her story got me to thinking about my own past battles with the mirror, so I started looking at images with mirrors and self-reflections. When I came across the above image, I knew I had locked in on the message I wanted to convey today: you are not your past. When you look into the mirror, you do not have the same reflection as you did yesterday. For those of you who have lost weight: you do not have the same body as you had in the past. This seems obvious, but for many, it is a struggle to reconcile our actual image with that which we see in the mirror. Some days I still see myself with baby fat and chubby cheeks, even though I know that I haven’t looked that way in ten years. Other days I feel like I look ten pounds heavier than I actually am, when I know that it is just my mind distorting my perception of my image in the mirror and not actually reality. We have to choose to let go of our negative self-perceptions of the past and to start to see ourselves with fresh eyes. The mirror is not scary if you look at it with kind eyes rather than critical ones. This is a lot easier said than done, but becomes easier with practice; start practicing.
Yes, we are formed by our past, and the past is a beautiful part of who we are, but we are not our past. Our past is what creates our present and our future, but, the distinguishing point is that we are not still locked into our past. It is time that we all let go of those images that we used to see in the mirror and that we start to see a new lightness and beauty in our present reflection.