Photo Credit: BKennedy-Osiro
Imagine that you are standing looking at yourself in the mirror. The lights are illuminating all around you. The mirror is your mirror, you are safe. You are in your home. Picture yourself looking in the mirror that is in the room that you are most comfortable. Whether the mirror is in your own bedroom, bathroom, or your favorite space in the home. Now it is just you and the mirror and your thoughts. Your gaze is pensive and your thoughts are flowing. You know who you are, you are confident, you are honest, a person of integrity. You are loving, caring, and affectionate. You have built an entire life off of who you believe you are. You are smart, creative, and resilient.
Now you are hearing the thoughts that contradict who you say you are. You hear your teachers, your parents, your enemies. You hear the thoughts of your “loved ones” haunting you. “You are ugly. You will not amount to anything. You aren’t worth my time. You are stupid. I don’t love you. You are selfish. You are a liar. “ All the negative things that people have said about you come flooding through your mind. It is becoming increasingly difficult to look in the mirror. Now you are grappling to hold onto what you think about who you are. It is a conflicting position because now you, me, we are having a hard time separating what is valid about the perceptions that are being said about who we are versus the perceptions that we have of ourselves.
“The lights come on at the end of the party, and they have to reconcile their ideals with the realities of life.” – Alex Timbers, Vogue August 2013. In our relationships with others we have the tendency to get on the high of the moment. We are showing all of the good aspects of our being in the beginning but as time wears on we become comfortable enough to share the forbidden parts. All of a sudden our friends or our spouses are starting to see the flip side of our personalities. The girl who you thought was dashingly funny in the beginning all of a sudden is too sarcastic for your blood! The man who seemed to have endured so much pain all of a sudden seems to play the victim role in your relationship and now you are the infamous villain. How quickly the tables can turn leaving you to self analyze the core of who you are. Questioning whether or not you really are that horrible person that they say you are, or are you who you say you are, OR is it a mixture of both?
The lights turn off, your pensive glare has turned into tears, your head is bowed and you cannot see the mirror anymore. There is darkness around you and that room that mirror is no longer a comfortable area for you. Now it is forbidden as forbidden as some of your thoughts and once again you have to fumble through the darkness to find the truth about whom you are.
Don’t let the world define you. Listen to what they have to say and don’t be naïve. Take into account the words being spoken. Leave behind everything that is untrue but dig to find out the truth. “Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.” –Max Ehrmann, Desiderata.
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