By Esih Efuru
My daily routine of preparation used to involve avoiding the mirror. I’d pick out clothing, accessories, and take a mental snapshot of the ensemble. I was sure that the coupling of fabrics and style would win all onlookers over. After all, I also had beauty and talent as enhancers. The problem was that I never gave myself a final look. Underneath the costume of arrogance and creativity was a terrified and broken little girl looking for safety and respite.
Mirrors perform the arduous task of turning the sour magic of our perceptions and illusions into high-definition reality. They symbolize God’s soft voice and tender eyes upon us, our gentle nudges toward ownership, acceptance and soul truth. Society does what it can to hide us from ourselves, but the ever persistent mirror, truth, always wins the race. We use mirrors to see what we wish to see and to tell ourselves that we are perfect and without blemish, and the mirrors always find a way to reveal a flaw, scar, memory or spec that causes us to pause, gasp and, in rare moments, acknowledge what needs to be confronted, lest we enter the fast-paced world of artificial perfection and believe the hype.
It takes a really courageous soul to acknowledge what is missing, broken, abused, neglected, forsaken and stolen. It is terrifying, yes, but spiritually rewarding for us to really hold ourselves close, to really take in the fullness of who we are and who we are not. Standing flat-footed in the mirror of truth is painful and challenging, but is where life begins, for truth is the pulse of abundant life. If we can be honest about what we see and cradle it, we can begin to see what God sees: precious clay in need of masterful evolution. It is God’s greatest desire to mold our brokenness into beauty for all to appreciate for its truthful texture, its brilliant honesty.
Are you ready to accept who you really are? Are you willing to take the most vulnerable part of your being and let God and love shape it into wonderment? Taking an honest look at those most tender and private parts of you is the beginning of true healing and joy, for there is nothing left behind to be ashamed of or fight against. I recently read an article that stated that 70% percent of the world struggles daily with finding happiness. The remaining 30% smile peace, digest favor and pray love. This regimen yields happier days and longer lives.
What do you see when you look upon yourself? Whether you like it or not, accept it, and ask God for ways to grow and build you so that you can experience the best of who you are. Waiting to be like someone else or to be accepted will place weight on your soul and leave you awaiting life’s party coach. Take the time to encounter the best and the worst of you, and give it all back to the Creator. She knows best how to make you shine, so that when you face the mirror, love is all that you see.
Esih Efuru, a 45-year-old writer, artist and minister, is raising a daughter in Charlotte, NC. Email her firstname.lastname@example.org
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