A Second Look…

Getting dressed this morning, I happened to look in the mirror.  Such a simple act should not prompt the flood of emotions that engulfed me, but there I was struggling to find my breath and fight back the tears.  I did not like what I saw.  That single passing glance reflected back a short, fat, aging woman that I did not recognize and did not like.  This can’t be me…yet, I knew that it was.  Or was it?

ImageWith every ounce of emotional fortitude I could muster, I forced myself to turn back to the mirror, take off the shirt I was in the process of putting on and really look.  Not that passing glance that only reflected back my flaws, but a full, naked body reflection of my true self.  What I saw in that second look was completely the same, yet oh so very different.  For every flaw, I saw the beauty my mind was trying to hide from me.

I saw…

a 46 year old woman … who is proud of the wisdom that life’s experiences have given her

a lot of laugh lines and crows feet … that mean I have lived my life smiling and laughing as often as possible

a few extra pounds … that have given me great curves in the right places that occasionally still turn heads and hopefully the incentive to start taking a little better care of myself

slightly weary eyes … that reflect back the good that I want to remember and the bad that I want to learn from that is woven through the tapestry of my life

All it took was that second look to find the things that I needed to see.  The things that in my heart I know about myself, yet are so easily pushed aside in my/our push for some skewed version of perfection.

I am not perfect.  I have made mistakes.  My physical shell may not be the exact package that our society claims is beautiful.  But none of that really matters.  What matters is that I take that second look.  That I make the moment to see what is behind the “flaws” that the first glance reveals.

I am 46 years old.  I am a few pounds overweight, but I have curves that other women would kill for.  I am smart.  I am sexy. I am beautiful. I make mistakes, but I try to learn from them.  I am blessed to have people who love and care about me.  I am lucky enough to get to do work I love. I do my best to contribute to my community and my world and make them a better place. I believe in sharing love, laughter and smiles often.  I am me. And me is good enough.

As a good friend who left us much too early was fond of saying “I may not be perfect, but I am imperfectly awesome.”

Who are you?  What do you see when you take that second look?