Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall....
A couple of weeks ago, my son had his spring break and our family snuck out of town for a bit to have a quick exploration in Atlanta, GA. Our mini-vacation would've been perfect had it not been for my discovery of the most evil and meanest gadget ever created --- the magnifying mirror.
These things are ruthless! At first I was happy to see that our hotel had one of these in the bathroom, and as expected, it was just quietly and innocently hanging on the wall, to the side of the bathroom sink. My mistake was that I let myself be tempted by it. It was dangling there like the evil Biblical snake, luring me to come closer. I was powerless against it. The seduction was just too much for me to resist.
So I gave in.
Closer and closer I went. At first I thought it wasn't so bad. But see that's the thing. It makes you think that way in the beginning so that you don't stop and just keep scrutinizing. Then you reach the point of no return. Or at least I did. Without being fully aware of it, I found myself tilting my head side to side, and then up and down I went. Pores and age spots I'd never seen before were glaring back at me. Worse, (and yes, there was something worse!), hairs on my face that never bothered me before suddenly caused me unspeakable trepidation! I got so disgusted that after a few minutes I began doubting if I was really female and thought that perhaps it IS time for some hormone replacement, correction or whatever! It was a good thing I still had enough sense in me to simply step away, and force myself to calm down, rather than reach for either the tweezer or the razor!
All I could muster to say to myself as a sigh of relief was this: "Thank God I'm not a celebrity! How horrible it must be to feel so much pressure to be perfect and flawless!"
Then something more worthwhile kicked in as well. I began thinking that this is what 'intimacy' is. To experience intimacy is not only to be so close to someone, but to be so close that everything is seen or known. Authentic intimacy is to not fear the closing in of distance because you feel safe with each other. There is a feeling of acceptance and appreciation. Isn't it true that as we become extremely close to something, our vision becomes more blurred and we get to a point that we don't see so well anymore? It's because at that distance, with that closeness, we no longer see the senseless details so much. With that closeness, perhaps we don't need to see with our eyes anymore but with our hearts. What we see doesn't have much weight anymore when weighed against what we feel. The little flaws, the misplaced spots and hairs and annoyances don't really matter as much because what the heart sees is so much more true and enduring.
Intimacy is definitely not for the fainthearted and not everyone is entitled to it. A lot of things we are not comfortable with, things we even reject about ourselves get exposed when intimacy is present. This is why intimacy takes time and a lot of effort. It is earned and should never be wasted once achieved.
You need a whole lot of self love and complete acceptance (or is it resignation?) to be able to look at every inch of your face in a magnifying mirror without being defeated by it. And it sure requires even more love and genuine intimacy to allow someone else to be that close to you and have everything exposed. But the beauty of being in love's presence is that for the most part, it really only magnifies that which makes us most beautiful.