Learning to Love What You See: A Look in the Mirror
Toni from @anneandkathleen shares with Liberare.co her journey surrounding self confidence.
“You look at yourself naked in the mirror?,” someone questioned me, shocked, after I told them I do this regularly.
“Umm...yeah? You don’t?,” I asked.
They looked at me like I turned into an alien. “No, I avoid that thing at all costs when I’m not dressed.”
I think we were both the same amount of shocked at each other's behavior. I was just as shocked she didn’t look at herself naked in the mirror, as she was that I do.
It naturally turned into a bigger conversation about how and why I do it. I explained part of the reason why, is an easy answer. At one point in my life, the bathroom mirror was directly across from the shower, so it just happened. There really wasn’t much of a choice.
But I think slowly, overtime, it turned into me wanting to learn my body. I learned about my curves and the rolls and freckles. I would look straight on, turn to each side, look behind me. I am able to look at myself in a mirror while not wearing any clothes simply because I actually do it. Which also feels like an easy answer.
I guess I was never someone who was afraid of a mirror and never someone who avoided one either. But, slowly, overtime, learning and understanding my body turned into appreciating it. I think especially after I started the journey of self love and self acceptance, appreciation turned into respect and eventually love. I give myself compliments. I try to find things I like about my body, or things I am worried about and I try to decide why or what made me feel negatively about it, and turn those things into a positive.
Sometimes, it’s less serious. I make funny faces at myself. When I cry, I study what my face looks like when I’m sad. I practice different smiles, and frowns. I practice serious faces. Sometimes, if I can catch it, I like to see what I look like laughing. Sometimes, I dance in the mirror. I shake my body and see how it moves. I have always been a little insecure about my limp from my prosthesis (something I am just now getting over), so I walk a little in the mirror to see what my body looked like doing that. I just wanted to be comfortable in the skin I am in, and for me, that meant looking at it and seeing it and examining it at all it’s different angles.
The more I look at myself, the more comfortable I feel. I am used to how my body looks. It’s not shocking to me. At first it was hard to see my visible belly line, but the more I see it, the more I don’t notice it. I used to hate having a double chin, but after I started looking at it and focusing on it, I decided it really isn’t that big of a deal.
I do all these things clothed too, though. And, if you’re not ready for naked you, look at yourself in clothes. Look at yourself in tight clothes, loose clothes, clothes you love, clothes you don’t think will look good on you, clothes you haven’t worn in a while, new clothes. Just look at yourself.
Get to know the person looking back at you. Tell them you appreciate them. Tell that person they have good hair, their shoes look cute with that outfit, they did a good job painting their nails. Tell them one nice thing. Tell them you love them. I truly believe when you learn to like the person in the mirror, eventually it will be hard not to love them, too.