Mirror mirror on the wall...a little self-reflection is all...
Mirror mirror on the wall...who's the....
That's me, isn't it?
I think one of the hardest things in life sometimes is taking a look at yourself. Not in the mirror to see if your hair looks nice or your mascara smudged again (...smudge-proof, my tush)...but REALLY take a look at yourself. A good, hard look at yourself. Inside and outside. How you act, what you give off, and how those around you perceive your actions, your energies, and your efforts. For the good stuff, and the bad stuff. The pretty and the ugly of our insides and all those nooks and crannies where we hide our really shitty parts. You know they are there. I have news for you. So does everyone else. You think they are hiding, but they show just fine.
This morning, someone very special to me held a mirror in front of my face and told me to look. Hard. This has been YOU lately. It's not cute. It's not endearing. You need to cut the shit. And while I have been coming off of it since, it's the best thing he could have done. I only wish I had known sooner.
Admitting when I was wrong has never been something I had trouble with. Sometimes it takes me a minute, an hour, a day to realize it...but I will, and I will own it. It's about self improvement. It's about knowing who you are and being the best YOU that is possible. And you can be. I can be. It's something I have had to learn in stages, but surrounding myself with solid, strong people with good hearts is the best way to ensure that you keep that progress.
I don't have a lot of people in my life that I hold close to me, and those people know it was hard for me to open up to them, let down my walls, and open the fortress gates for them...even if I locked them right back up behind them. So the mere idea of hurting, offending, irritating, or god forbid angering these close few is enough to put me into a panic. It's why I appreciate being told I am wrong. I get the chance to fix it. To keep being a good friend, partner, mother, sibling, daughter, whatever to those people. If I don't know that I am being an asshole, I am going to keep right on being an asshole and whistling the day away like the eighth dwarf (we will call her Bratty) while I do it. But here's the thing...I DON'T WANT TO BE AN ASSHOLE.
Well, I imagine some people do. Look around. But the point here is that I don't, and if someone didn't tell me when I was acting like one, I would keep right on doing it, pissing people off, screwing up friendships and relationships, and probably annoying everyone I hold dear. There is no excuse for this.
Bratty the Eighth Dwarf:
Bratty gets disappointed and sulks.
Bratty has a bad few weeks at work and starts thinking the worst about her future.
Bratty gets insecure about herself and her interactions
Bratty worries about things she has no control over.
Bratty acts like negative-nancy because she is self consumed.
The thing is, I am not this person. At all. Realizing I was acting like this is terrifying to me. I am a positive person. A deeper soul. I write. I sing. I laugh at everything. I dance all over the house when I am alone. My curl up with my son in a fit of giggles over farts and boogers and the word wiener. More than that, I am expressive. Lately, I succumbed to pressures of every day life, rather than dealing with them. I had closed all those doors and let things build up inside me like steam with no pressure valve. But that pressure was leaking out of me through the cracks and the loose rivets, and it was burning people around me. I was so self consumed, I didn't know. I didn't see. I didn't realize.
Being forced to see that person was not pretty. And I got upset. I felt embarrassed. I felt ashamed. I saw a picture of myself as this ugly person that I didn't recognize. I took a long walk around my building. Watched our nesting mama swan in the pond out back. Turned my iPod up LOUD. Talked to myself in my head and asked myself...Amanda, what in the world has come over you? You have weathered worse storms than this. I needed the reflection. I needed to be told. It's the only way I would have known before I tore down so much of what I adore.
The sunshine broke through the clouds after that. The weather warmed. Who are we as people if we are not constantly evolving into better people? What can we hope to accomplish in our own lives, let alone the lives of others and the world around us if we cannot improve who we are? How else can we be everything that we want to be? Everyone slides down every now and again. The trick is realizing it so you can get back up. Sometimes, it takes someone else to clue us in. Don't get upset. Don't get offended. That person in the mirror is you.
So when someone hands you a mirror, look into it. Hard. See yourself. Don't turn away. It's you in that mirror, whether you know it or not. Whether you like it or not. And everything you can ever hope to be is in there too. Look again. Realize. Be a better soul.
Like the moon,come out from behind the clouds! Shine.