What do you see when you look in the mirror?
There are days when you wake up, get yourself ready and look in the mirror thinking: “I look ok today”. It’s not a question of vanity, it’s more about rating yourself on a scale of looking like you’ve just been hit by a bus right through to feeling good about your appearance on that day.
Last week when I woke up for the first morning of the event I felt ok: despite the fact I’d had little sleep, know nothing about fashion and was in bad need of a hairdresser! I was looking forward to the day and felt good about what I saw.
When I arrived I met an online friend I’ve been chatting to for some time. She was even lovelier in real life and it was such an exciting moment to finally give her a hug.
Then she took a photo of the two of us.
I’m definitely more comfortable behind the lens than in front (as are many people) but I wanted to have a happy snap of the two of us.
When I saw the photo I was shocked. That image is not what I see when I look in the mirror. How can the two differ so greatly? Do we look at ourselves through rose coloured glasses? Has my husband installed some kind of magic mirror that makes me think I’m having an ‘ok’ day when really I should be working a little harder?
It didn’t make me feel sad or embarrassed, but I was genuinely shocked at the difference between the photo and the mirror.
It really got me thinking: Is it the same with life?
Do we see ourselves as one thing, and others see us completely differently?
Every day we wake, get ourselves (sometimes our family) ready, work through the day interacting with others and stamping our mark on life. We say things, do things and experience things that shape us as people.
One little comment here or there said in isolation can give people a certain impression of who we are as people; but the truth is we are the sum of everything we do.
It’s so easy to judge others on a single action (or even a stream of actions) and make a judgement on their overall life. However, is that really who they are?
I like to believe that at their core, most people are trying to do their best in life. I know there are exceptions, there are bad people, but generally everybody is just trying to make the most of this world that we live in. Sometimes they do it wrong. Heck, I know I do it wrong sometimes! Often in fact. Does that make me a bad person because I make mistakes?
I hope not.
I live by this motto: “Everyone has a story”. What I mean by that is that there are things that have happened in people’s lives over the years that shape how they act and react. Sometimes they may shock you with the way they handle things, but it’s not about you.
It’s about them.
It’s so easy to take things on board, mull them over in your mind and personalise them, but it’s not always about you.
Take a step back, realise that the face you see in the mirror every day is not necessarily what others see and try to experience life in a way that will make you smile. Enjoy the small things and understand that you can’t control how others perceive you: you can only strive to make sure you’re putting your best face forward every day in the hope that you’re having an ‘ok’ day.