"When and if you can stand to take a look at your reflection...
your interior mirror always tells you the truth, the real story."
I just realized it's been exactly a month since I last posted. I'm in the process of writing a new book and it's causing me to go into serious reflective mode. I've had to force myself to be still, and silent, and to look inward, deeper than just below the surface. It has also required me to take a good look at myself in the mirror. Not for vanity purposes, but to really see myself as I am, as I've been, and as I would like to be. To take inventory of the things I like, and the things I don't like about myself, and to identify the areas I would like to change. On the outside, but most importantly on the inside. Basically, to face myself. Honestly. The good, the bad, and the brutally ugly (the part no one sees).
The more time I take to reflect, the more I realize how unhappy I've become with the reflection that's staring back at me. I don't recognize the person I'm looking at anymore. I look the same, but I am fundamentally different. I haven't been true to myself and as a result, I've lost the true beauty that makes me, me. I've realized that I got so used to changing colors to survive the environments I was in, that my true color got faded in the process and is hardly recognizable. It's been tough for me to resist the urge to turn a blind's eye. I would much prefer to keep acting like everything is all together, even when I know it's not. It is getting rougher as I try to sort through the heaviness of it all. Now I know what it means when people warn you not to open up Pandora's box. This is the same thing. You don't know what you're going to get.
So many of us go through life pretending because we have to be what others expect us to be, starting at an early age just to survive. Then it becomes novelty and entertainment for ourselves and those around us. We create elaborate illusions to cover up our true feelings, thoughts, and desires. In order to please others and to get the fake love and acceptance from those we desire it from at the time. Until we don't want it in play life anymore, and we want it for real.
Playing dress up and pretending for so long creates major distortion from the inside out. It ultimately ends up hurting us and the other people who have fell for our illusions. Small lies build slowly, one upon the other, until you're so out of touch with yourself and reality that you too buy into the lies that others perceive as being your truth because it's easier. I think this is why when people get middle-aged they decide to go at it cold turkey and people say to them, "I don't know you anymore." Hell, neither do they. I don't think it's a middle-age issue though. I think they know it long before, but it just takes them to get to that point to build up the courage to face their interior reflections. Once they do, they decide to act. However, often times the results of their actions have to be so extreme and life changing because they've allowed the illusion to go on for so long, that is the only way they can break free of it.
When and if you can stand to take a look at your reflection...your interior mirror always tells you the truth, the real story. When you look at yourself through your own eyes, you can see the cracks beneath the surface, you can see the lonely eyes, the stress and tension built up in your neck and shoulders, it's evident to you, what others often miss. The interior mirror never lies. The sooner you muster up the courage to take a look, the better.
I'm impatient (something God works with me on daily) and don't have time to wait until I'm middle-aged to get it together and go cold turkey. Plus, I have no choice in the matter anyway, so I am surrendering to the process now. One because writing this book is forcing me to and two because I realize the life I live depends on it. It is just time now to unearth everything, sort through it all, and be brave enough to discard what no longer serves a healthy purpose. This way I can accurately see what's needed to help me grow taller from here. I have been accurately described as an onion before, so I have to be brave enough to peel back the layers, stink up the place, cry, have my hands chafed a bit, hoping that when it's all said and done, I will be better, healthier, and truly at peace with me.
It's hard to fight an invisible enemy. Something that you know is there, but just can't identify. It's even harder admitting to yourself that things aren't right. No one wants to admit to themselves the truth, to other people it doesn't matter as much. However, you have to face the fact that you've been lying to yourself all along. Not easy. As I peel back one layer at a time, I realize it would be easier if it were just one big thing. But instead it's a series of small complex clusters of heaviness that have piled up over the years. Some things I knew about, others, not so much.
Taking time to look into my interior reflection has begun to reveal to me things that were standing in my way. Now I can get passed them completely without exhausting myself because I'm swinging against the wind. In the process I'm facing one of my ultimate fears, which I will be sharing in the new book. To sum it up in one word. Painful. A good pain though. One that serves a higher purpose and will have a good lasting effect.
I started my interior reflection with some questions. I will share some in the next post. Until then, MJ said it best. Start with the man in the mirror. I might go karaoke style on Friday's post and sing this! Ha. :)