Mind Over Mirror by Michelle Jones

Mirrors have no charm.  They are not in the business of mincing words or sparing feelings.  Spinach in your teeth, ketchup on your blouse, that booger you missed when you blew your nose; these are all things your friends and even strangers will pretend they don’t see, but the mirror will not hesitate to call you out for the slob you are.  There was a time I couldn’t go near one without it calling out something that was wrong with me.

Fat Girl!

Gray hair!

Surgery scar!

Get some sleep!

I used to think all mirrors were jerks, until photographs started yelling at me too.  Pretty soon, I didn’t even have to see my own image.  I could look at a woman in a magazine, on a television show, or clothes on a rack at Macy’s.  They were all telling me the same things:

You’re not small enough, pretty enough, young enough, rich enough, smart enough.

Your skin is flawed.

Your hands are not dainty.

Have you noticed that your breasts, which once pointed proudly at the horizon, are now focused on a point just beyond your toes?

I was secretly angry at the guys who were beside themselves about Halle, Tyra, Beyonce and others.  I was sick of designers who seemed to create their garments for stick women and not me.  I stopped trying on clothes at the store.  I didn’t like eating in front of people because I thought they were judging me with every morsel I put in my mouth.  (It didn’t matter that they weren’t, because I was doing enough judging on my own.)

One day it occurred to me that the mirror, the television, the photographs and magazines, all of them, had the same voice:  my voice. The mirror wasn’t the jerk.  I was.

Better lives don’t just come to us. They reveal themselves to us when we’re ready to live as we are and give up whining about who we are not.  Whining cheapens the privilege of drawing breath, robs us of our hope, and tells the world we serve a derelict God.  It is impossible to complain and say “Thank You” at the same time.  It is impossible to move forward, make corrections, or improve from where you are not.

Here’s the thing.  Sometimes we have to fight to have the life we want, not always, but sometimes.  Some of us have pounds to shed, others of us have businesses to grow, children to raise, or a degree to earn.  Whatever the case, the first “enemy” is always yourself, and your weapon is always the Truth.

If you had asked for help, not eaten so much, exercised, or gotten your degree, things would be different today. That’s a fact, not Truth. Truth is what IS, not what would have been.

You quit your job and might not find a better one in this economy.  You’re over 40 and may never marry or have children.  That is a possibility, not Truth. Truth is what IS, not what might be or even could be.

We move toward our desires by dealing with Truth and Truth only.  When we’re drowning in our complaints, Truth is the stone that rises up out of the sea for us to stand on.  Believing keeps us from sinking and leads us to more Truth and before we know it, we become men and women who walk on water.

I’m not married, I’m not Beyonce, and I’m not rich.  Those are facts.  The Truth is I’m a beautiful, brilliant woman.  My lines are more Autobahn than Route 66.  Perhaps one day I’ll meet a beautiful, brilliant man who can handle the curves.  The fact that I don’t know him today doesn’t dim my light.

My mirror still has no charm, but it is silent and I have learned to say “Thank You” for the body I have, the person I am, and the wisdom to take care of both. I have learned to hope for and work toward a better tomorrow from where I am, not where I’m not.

Where are you?



  1. Shay said,

    January 13, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    your writing gives me so much to think about my head hurts, that’s good.

    • cre8nmi said,

      January 13, 2010 at 8:02 pm

      I like a hurting head. As long as it doesn’t hurt your heart we’re in good shape!

  2. mercedes said,

    January 14, 2010 at 7:20 am

    just getting a hold of this tonight. it echoes so much of what God has been saying to me about scar tissue and the negative verbal agreements that I have made with myself over the years. Reading what you wrote brought healing, tears- a new perspective. Bless you!

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