I wonder what you see when you look in the mirror? I wonder who you see when you look in the mirror?
There are days when I look in the mirror and all I can see are the bags under my eyes, the slow downward droop of my nose and hairs that you could pull a truck with which are suddenly sticking out from my eyebrows. Don’t even get me started the grey hairs on the sides of my head or the other odd hairs which, for some reason, have started venturing out from the back of my shirt collar.
It’s probably to do with my brain-wiring (awesome link), but I find eye contact straining. I know it’s key part of conversation, but to be honest, I’m just never sure how to do it. Which eye do I look at? For how long? What about the bridge of the nose? The mouth is moving, do I look at that for a bit? I find it somehow uncomfortable, almost painful, to maintain eye contact for more than 10 seconds or so.
Funny side note: Mother Duck sometimes stares lovingly into my eyes, captivating me. I can’t even last half a minute before I crack and offer to make her the mug of tea that she is after. Sometimes I get it wrong and she is actually just loving me. I just can’t do eye contact. Welcome to Aspie land ..
Another reason I have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror is the issue of visual feedback (like when microphone gets too close to a speaker). If it’s difficult to maintain eye contact with even Mother Duck, when make I eye contact with myself it’s nearly unbearable. To be honest, I’m also just not sure who I will find looking back at me.
So who do I see, looking back at me? And who’s eyes am I looking through?
In the eye of the beholder
If I look at myself the mirror through my eyes what, or who, I see depends very much on what mood I am in. If I’ve had a few bad days, like those that triggered / inspired me to start writing this, then I see a grumpy rat-bag. It seems that all the despair and annoyance I feel towards myself is reflected through the mass of wrinkles, blemishes and reddened allergic blotches which make up my face.
If I’ve had a better few days, then maybe I can throw myself a quick, “Yeah man, you ok.”-look. Anything more just feels narcissistic.
Very, very rarely, probably never, do I hold my gaze and with sincerity tell myself the good things that have been told to me.
One of the two greatest commands is to love our neighbour as much as we love ourselves. Who’s our neighbour? Back to Sunday school. That’s right, anyone. If one of my family, a friend or even a colleague came to me in an absolute state, how would I treat them?
“Hey man. What’s up?”
“Al, the day I’ve had. It’s just been an absolute mess.”
“C’mon. It can’t have been all that bad?”
“Oh man. It was. I got out bed and stepped in dog pooh. Went to loo and there was no paper. The coffee machine jug broke and I got hot coffee over my last pair of clean pants. I was so pissed and really took out on the family. I just feel awful.”
“Dude. I know you. That’s not who you are. You know you screwed up and it bothers you. But in way, that’s a good thing. If it didn’t bother you at all I really would be worried. Come on. Let’s go and buy the wife some flowers and some chocolate for the kids. You’ll be able to get through this just fine and tomorrow is new day.”
If imaginary me is so awesome towards imaginary friend, why can’t I be awesome to myself too? Have you got that whispering imp on your shoulder reminding you what a 5h1t-bag you are, or is it just me?
That why I asked who’s eyes am I looking through?
If I look through my eyes, who I see depends very much on what mood I am in. Mother Duck normally (except when we’re in the middle of a spat) looks at me with love, encouragement and warmth. When Jesus looks at me, He sees ..
All of me. He sees my past, my present and my future. Does He see my failures, my sins? The bible tells us that God has removed our sins from us; as far as the east is from the west. So I guess not, or if He does, He’s not making an issue of it. As a Christ follower, I belong to the church which is also referred to as the bride of Christ. Jesus must really think I’m amazing if He’s going to marry me!
I guess I need to start looking at myself through Jesus’ eyes then. He sees me as lovely, and when I see myself as lovely then I will begin to see others as lovely too. Let me encourage you to look at yourself through Jesus’ eyes. Hear His voice in your heart and now go and love your neighbour like your love yourself.
Have a good day.
See. I told I can’t do eye contact. 😉