Every time my 4 yr old is pleased with what she got to wear after her shower and manages to dress her hair real flat with a hair pin in place, she strides into my room with a very proud - 'Look mama, I am looking so cute!' and goes and admires herself in my large bedroom mirror.
I had an initial discomfort with that because of our cultural conditioning of not praising ourselves.
Her dad had an even bigger discomfort with her admiring herself in the mirror like she was the coolest person on earth! He wondered 'Isn't this behaviour too vain?'
I didn't pay much attention to it. As with most things I believe the best way to bring up our children is to not mess with them. Stay out of their way and let them hold on to their magic as much as possible!
A few days later, we were catching up with a friend at a really cool restaurant at a slight distance from our home. They serve really delicious Asian food. We found our table, seated ourselves and ordered our food. The last person was yet to join us and we began our starters and banter. And then she walks in and as soon as she finds her seat complains, 'Oh no, you guys have found me a seat right in front of a mirror!' That's when I realise there's a mirror right behind me!
After that lunch, on the way back home, I ponder about why we all have such a dislike about looking at ourselves in the mirror. When did that 4 yr old girl full of self-admiration turn into a 20 or 30 something with a huge discomfort of being in front of mirrors?
- Perhaps when someone first made a comment about our appearance?
- Or when we saw a model walking down the ramp and felt inadequate about our own bodies?
- Or when puberty hit and we found ways to disassociate with our bodies and dislike all the troubles it was causing?
All the insights take us back to one thing - self-love, undoubtedly! I have all of my life coaching clients practice the self-love technique taught by Louise Hay where you look into a mirror and tell yourself with all of your heart 'I love you' 'You are my most favourite person in the world' 'You are doing so well'!
Not surprisingly, it's one of the most challenging exercises for almost everyone. I also have my share of discomfort as I practice this and end up giving up every now and then! But every time I have been able to sustain it, I have felt amazing.
It's like the 4 yr old child inside me feels loved, nourished and accepted, even celebrated for who she is!
How comfortable are you in front of a mirror? What's the thought that crosses your mind every time you pass by one?