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When the Mirror Lies



A few weeks ago, I thought long and hard about ignoring the mirror for a while. Oh you’ve seen those social experiments before. Like this gal, who literally avoided a mirror for an entire year before she got married.

Sweet mother. 

She gets quite the prize for such a feat. So, it all started one day last week when I said hello to someone in town that technically should have known who I was…but they didn’t. They didn’t recognize me. ‘Oh come on’, I told myself…’It’s been years, did you really expect her to know you?”  yes. yes. yes. 

And then my mirror began to taunt me.

‘You aren’t what you used to be.’

‘Is that a gray hair? Sweet mother…that IS a gray hair.’

‘Man, if you could only lose that last 20 lbs of baby weight. Aren’t your kids seven?!?!?!’

‘You should be sooo embarrassed—she didn’t. even. recognize. you.’

Ouch. I sat on the bed and cried my eyes out. But, the truth was…that wasn’t the first time I had passed a mirror and wanted to crack it with a baseball bat. I had felt the same way the week before…and the week before that….and the week before that. 

And you know we totally have plenty of baseball bats to accomplish this mirror-cracking feat.

And last week…it struck me (no not the bat)—that this cycle of self-loathing, this feeling inadequate stuff‚—has actually been brewing for years. Simmering beneath the surface of my psyche like an unwanted disease. See, nobody talks about the transition from teenager to womanhood as being a hard one on your self-esteem. We get our fill of that kind of talk when we transition from childhood to puberty. But, see that period for me was a welcomed transition. It was fun. I got used to finding that girl in my reflection. Then came adulthood, and I started asking, “Where did that girl go?” And if I were a betting woman, I have a feeling a lot of women are struggling in this place with me.

And you know what—I’m a bit sick of this. I’m not going to carry this anymore. I’m dropping it off at Jesus’ feet and I’m walking away. Today, let’s blow the lid of this thing—these degrading feelings we have toward ourselves. Let’s embrace the girl in the mirror and start treating her with the respect she deserves.

Anybody with me?

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When We Focus on Our Failures


I’ve been looking the other way. For months. At what point does a writer quit scribbling in journals? Quit tapping words into blank spaces? Even now, I can barely make these fingers move. I sat for ten minutes just waiting to open my online home. Why?

Somewhere along the way I told myself that this blog was an utter failure.

That no one was reading. That I was too busy. That the change I thought could take place in people’s lives by seeing life in a different way, a way I hoped to show people through my writing, wasn’t happening.

Ironically, this sticky place has occurred in the most interesting time of my life, when helping others write has actually become my career. A career I love.

For the longest time, I asked God if I was a writer.

“Do you really want me to write?”
“Will anyone even care about what I say?”
“Will they just see me or will they really see You?

After a while, I quit listening to His answer and answered for myself.

“No, no one is listening. No one cares. No, you are not a writer.”

And for six months, I have actually been dream grieving. In the six months that I have taken off from writing, a piece of me withered. This morning, I decided to look up. And to pick up my hands and write. I wrote despite my feelings.

I wrote about a crazed pixie Senior who wanted to beat me up when I was a freshman in high school. I wrote about love never realized, and another never meant to be.  I wrote a partial script. A scrap of a book series.

The point is, I wrote. As I wrote, my words blossomed. And this withered flower drank in a little piece of freedom. Freedom from the fear of failure and all its’ thug friends.

When we focus on our failures, we freeze.

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