I am a pretty confident person. I look at myself in the mirror, and while I may not always like what I see, I never pick myself apart for it. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but what I see is my body – the scars that bore my children.
The scars of surviving a breast reduction gone so bad. The scars of having my gallbladder removed. I see extra weight around my middle, because I struggle with issues with my feet that make it difficult to exercise. I see the body my husband loves and makes me feel good about. I see me. I see the lines around my face caused by too much laughter and smiling – they call them laugh lines for a reason, right!?
I see my eyes, which reflect my true feelings, good and bad, like a neon sign flashing on the highway. I see hands that have held my children when they were babies; through sleepless nights and stomach flues; showed them how to tie their shoes, do their homework and bandaged up their boo-boos. This body may not be what I want it to be, but I see it.
I also see that my kids see it. We are body-positive around my house. We do not fat shame or comment on anyone’s body shape, size, colour or ability.
And while I do practice what I preach most of the time, there are moments when I don’t feel confident. I don’t like how something looks, or makes me feel. I wish I was thinner, or that my hips weren’t so wide.
I will honestly say that I do not say negative things to myself out loud. I don’t call myself fat, or ugly. I do not proclaim that none of my clothes fit, or make a bid deal if something doesn’t look right. I usually quietly go back into my room and change. I don’t want the impact of those words lingering for my kids to interpret. Because those are the seeds of self-doubt that they don’t need in their headspace as 7 and 10-year old’s.
Which means when I look in the mirror, I cannot comment on mybody shape, size, colour or ability.
The other day, as the Little Mouse was waiting to get into the shower, she was dancing around the bathroom naked. The Little Bird was in the shower, singing to herself and I was tidying up the countertop. I noticed the Little Mouse started singing with her sister, as she danced, but the part that made me stop was how she watched herself in the mirror.
She made faces at herself, turned around, tried new dance moves and all the while she was smiling and laughing. The way she looked at herself put a smile on my face. She saw she looked funny and cute. Actually, she knew she looked funny and cute. And she loved every minute of it.
It is amazing how it takes seeing something through the eyes of a child to gain perspective.
I looked in the mirror at that moment too, as I smiled back at myself and realized that I have to focus on my insides more. On my accomplishments, my compassion, my kindness and my feelings, just like I try to do with the kids.
Thinking back to my daughter’s impromptu mirror-dance, still puts a smile on my face. Her confidence was evident. She loved herself in that moment. Her happiness was contagious. She should all experience the joy she experienced when we look in the mirror.
And we should all dance naked!