When I was young, my family would travel to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for vacations. As a southern gal, the beach was one of our favorite places to go on a family outing. Back in the day, downtown Myrtle Beach had a pavilion and rides that we loved to visit. One of the fun things we did was to go into the pavilion where there was an arcade with a lot of funny looking mirrors. The mirrors would either made you look small or tall. It was quite funny to see yourself in those mirrors! We would laugh and laugh at each other.at how ridiculous we looked.
Now I tell you this story because I believe many people are looking at their lives through distorted mirrors. Think about it. Isn’t that what we do?
For example, probably many of us, at an early age, were bullied. I certainly was and I had one kid who picked on me daily on my ride home on the school bus. I would come home crying.
Many people have been bullied, not just in childhood, but in life by other people or even loved ones. The people doing the bullying hold their mirrors to us and try to tell us who we are and the sad thing is that we often listen and gaze into their mirrors. We gaze into the mirrors of our teachers, co-workers, friends, and even strangers. We look into the mirrors of past experiences. We also look into the mirrors of our failings, shortcomings, and bad mistakes. We gaze into the mirrors of regret and neglect. We look into the mirrors of rejection and shame. We look into all these mirrors and eventually lose ourselves. Therefore, we go through life seeing ourselves through distorted mirrors much like I did as a child at the beach.
It’s easy to get caught up in what we don’t like about ourselves… our flaws, our mistakes, and our weaknesses. But, the problem is that we focus on what we don’t like or what is missing, lacking, or broken. Where does that ultimately take us? Certainly not anywhere helpful.
If we are ever going to have any type of success in life, it starts with our view of ourselves. If you don’t like or value yourself, how can you have any hope for success. Maybe you have been looking into the wrong mirrors. So, what mirrors are you using to define your life?
Used with permission from Janet Daughtry CBT, CBC, MDiv.