I got Botox for the first time last week…go ahead insert judgement now…no, wait! We are not going to judge per last post remember? And why am I sharing this seemingly personal information with the internet public (or let’s be real here the handful of you who read my blog who are awesome and most appreciated by the way) you ask? Well, that’s because of a question that was listed on the intake form. A question which was this:
When you look in the mirror, what bothers you?
My immediate reaction was “ummm nothing I just have these lines on my forehead and they don’t really bother me but I was curious as to what a little Clostridium botulinum injected into my forehead would do to said lines.” So, I left the question blank and moved on to the next completing the rest of that page. But before I could move on to the second page I found myself drawn back to that question as if I couldn’t leave it blank. Like it was a question on a test and I had to at least put something down. When you look in the mirror, what bothers you? I read it at least another four times.
When you look in the mirror, what bothers you? When you look in the mirror, what bothers you? When you look in the mirror, what bothers you? When you look in the mirror, what bothers you?
Now perhaps I was getting a little too involved in the question – overthinking as I sometimes tend to do. But in that moment I just couldn’t help but wonder how many of us look in the mirror and are bothered by something that we see. And I thought of how sad that is – to think that we as humans, women in particular, look in the mirror and judge ourselves (there we go judging again – eh hem – please refer to On Becoming a Wise Woman – Part 2 – thou shalt not judge remember??). For whatever the reasons, we tend to be hard on ourselves especially in this day and age of constant connection and instant gratification. I suppose it’s been there all through time and it’s simply a function of human nature – the comparing of what we are and what we are not and what we have and what we have not to the likes of others. Maybe we just become more aware of it as we age – strike that – as we mature. And hopefully as we become more aware of it, we realize how unproductive it is and detrimental it is to our well-being. Because the thing is, until we realize the absurdity of thinking this way the whole judging yourself thing doesn’t go away. It actually gets worse most times without even realizing it. What you should have done. What you should have said. If only this. If only that. That’s it – go another round in the ring with yourself. Go for the knockout.
Why are we our own worst critics? If we don’t believe in ourselves how can we expect anyone else to? If we don’t love ourselves how can we expect anyone else to? If we don’t think we are beautiful just as we are how can we expect anyone else to?
Now, I do believe there is a balance here as I think it’s unrealistic to never engage in the whole comparing of what we are and what we are not and what we have and what we have not to the likes of others. But it’s all about keeping it in check. To be inspired by others is one thing. Inspiration is healthy and is what drives us to do better. To compare oneself to others is something altogether different. Comparison creates unrealistic expectations that when not met lead to guilt and shame. Not healthy.
A wise woman is inspired by others, but does not compare herself to others. And perhaps most importantly, a wise woman is not “bothered” by what she sees in the mirror. There’s a quote from Brene Brown that goes like this “Talk to yourself like you would someone you love.” I say take it one step further – look at yourself like you would someone you love. For what it’s worth.