When you look in the mirror what do you see?

I have a confession to make… I am a fake, a liar a really good actress. I know how to dish out advice but actually following it… I am not so good at.  Perhaps I should back up a little so you understand where this is coming from.

Gracie has been having a real hard time this past week. With Jay needing even more of my time because of his foot she has been , well jealous, unruly and even downright disrespectful. Not just to me… at school to her teachers and her friends too. In fact her teacher even said to me, “Sharon I get where it is coming from, but if you don’t get a hold of this now, well when hormones kick in…” I left shaking my head in agreement, I mean she was not telling me anything I did not already know.Why couldn’t my daughter just be happy? Why does she crave so much attention, care so much about what others think, need others to build her up? Doesn’t she know that the only person who can make her happy is herself?

Then it hit me… Gracie is me! What have I done? What kind of example have I set for my daughter? What kind of mom am I? Over and over I did this. I beat myself up and belittled my own mothering skills. I talked to my husband… wanting desperately for him to reassure me to lift me up to give me the attention I needed… I did the same thing Grace was doing.

How can I teach my daughter to accept herself, to love herself, to be comfortable in her own skin… if I am constantly doubting, knocking myself down, trying to change things about myself in an effort to feel worthy of my own self love?

I tried explaining this sudden realization to my husband and he got all concerned and wanted to know if I needed to talk to someone or perhaps I  should go to the gym with him if I was feeling so bad about the way I looked and felt. The poor guy… he is a fixer and well that would be an easy fix. No… I know what the problem is and I KNOW what a doctor would tell me and although I could defiantly benefit from the gym that is not what this about. You see self-improvement is great; however, if we are always feeling that we aren’t good enough as we are, we will never be satisfied by any of the changes we make.  What I need is  to arrive at a place of true self acceptance. If I don’t get there, no matter how many pounds and inches I lose I won’t be happy.

I think I have always known this, but doing it… well that is another story. That is why I put everyone else needs first. It is much easier to concentrate on everyone else. Besides, then I have a reason to feel like crap, grumpy and lost.  Problem is when we place ourselves last on our own lists, we can end up feeling resentful and looking to others to fill us up. When they can’t or won’t, we might point to our own unworthiness as the cause or blame them for being insensitive! This ends up being a no-win situation. It leaves you feeling even more grumpy, lost and like a horrible person.

So I looked in the mirror this morning… I mean really really looked. What did I see? Yes I saw the extra pounds I have put on and the gray hairs popping out. I did notice the tiny little lines starting to form around my mouth and the bags from lack of sleep under my eyes. But for the first time in a LONG TIME… I saw something else there. I saw a person staring back at me with KIND EYES. The same eyes that see my boy for who he is instead of what the world wants him to be. The eyes that have no problem not only accepting him for the extraordinary person he is… loving him with every ounce of my being. So why then…why can’t I see myself with those eyes and my daughter too?Why do I judge myself so harshly and hold my daughter to same hard standards? It’s not fair to either one of us.

I looked into the mirror today and I saw the truth. Now the question is what to do with that!

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

2 thoughts on “When you look in the mirror what do you see?

  1. Welcome to the 40’s my cousin. Something happens to a woman when she takes the time to look. You are everything you need to be at this time in your life. Remember grace is still young and she is in need of guidence. Take care of yourself… her that taking care of you is important. Then figure out how to give her some special time each week that she can look forward too. I believe in you Sharon……knowing WHAT it happening is half the battle. BIG HUGS

  2. So what are you saying here? Typical children are difficult too!? It’s not just our Aspies??? We are all pretty hard on ourselves. Is that why I’m constantly checking my blog and Facebook for those feelings of adoration that I don’t get anywhere else? As I get older…I am getting a little better at this. I know for sure that I am a good mom. I’m beginning to know that I’m a good writer. I fill up a whole when someone tells me that I helped them, or made them feel less alone. I am slowly learning that I have to take time out for myself to do things that make ME happy, like spending time with my best girl-friends. You need some ME time girlfriend! Me time at a therapist office, with your girlfriends, at the movies, or at the spa. Put on your oxygen mask! Save YOURSELF!

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