Was there a time in your life when you delighted in the face you saw staring back at you in the mirror?
At what moment did that change?
Throughout my teenage years there were many things I did not like about myself, but the number-one thing I could not stand was my nose. I hated my nose so much and even remember thinking, “If I just had a different nose my life would probably be so different…” I even begged my parents for plastic surgery because I thought my nose was so terrible!
Right after I graduated from high school I took a trip to Italy and very ironically all these Italians started complementing me on my nose! “Look at your face, your profile… Your nose! You look like one of the Roman statues!”
I was so shocked because no one had ever complemented me on my NOSE before, but suddenly amidst a new culture I began to see my nose and my face in a completely new light. And… I began to like it.
Miraculously, I can say God healed me of my silly fixation with my nose that summer. But you know what happened after I stopped obsessing about my nose?
I started obsessing about something else.
My arms, my weight, the roundness of my face… You name it. My latest obsession has been with my hair. (Why can’t my hair get thicker?!?!)
It’s like our self-condemnation needs a location. And when one area of shame or insecurity is healed in our lives, it just finds itself a new home.
But this wasn’t always the case. There was a moment in our lives when we looked in the mirror and loved what we saw.
I have two baby nieces and every time they catch their reflection they smile so big from ear to ear. They don’t stare at their reflection in an obsessive way, trying to fix their hair, eyebrows or lips. They don’t look at themselves and think, “Ugh! I’m so disgusting!” They look at themselves (as you see in the picture above) as if to say:
“That’s me? It’s ME! Wow, I’m so BEAUTIFUL! I’m so lovely! I’m so happy to be me!”
I dare say their faces even echo Mary’s words in the Magnificat:
“My soul magnifies the Lord! My spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For behold! The Almighty has done great things for me… and holy is His name!”
Can we say this about ourselves?
Even if we look in the mirror and see imperfections and “flaws”… As I once heard Leah Darrow say:
“Perfection is a lie against beauty.”
We are not called to be perfect, as the world tells us to be. “Perfect” doesn’t exist on this earth.
We are beautiful because we are children of the Father. We are His. And we have to fight and choose each day to believe this.
Just for today, perhaps we can look in the mirror and say: “The Almighty has done great things for me. And holy is His name.”