Friday, March 27, 2015

This Is Me

Do you have trash can rules? Or is it just me who would even think to have rules, in addition to the rules of life and rules of school and rules of manners and rules of society and rules of government to have rules surrounding trash cans? Because I have cans you put a bag in and hide under your sink and I have cans you do not put a bag in (and therefore are very careful about what you put inside--i.e. NO GUM OR ANY OTHER STICKY, NASTY SUBSTANCE) and set out to be seen. Some rooms, like my half bath, call for this pretty sort of trash can because there is no cabinet to hide it under. So it irks me when I see a yogurt tube or gum or some crummy wrapper inside.

*I also have issues with used tissues lining bedside tables, but I'd have to write another post entirely dedicated to "Issues with Tissues" to get through all my feelings concerning this subject.

Thanks for letting me vent. 

I also have issues with yellow teeth. Mine are naturally so, and because of this I am keeping Crest in business through the use of their whitestrips. I am not careful about the beverages I drink, adding to the whole business of "How to Fight Yellow Teeth". So after casually mentioning this to my daughter, I went in my bathroom to brush with some sort of whitening/abrasive/sandpaper toothpaste that is priced like gold in a tube. "Don't want yellow teeth!" I said.

"Oh," she said, causally flicking her hand up. "You already have those."

And she said it in such an offhand manner, so, like, obviously you have yellow teeth, clearly you are blind that I was a little taken aback, and I began what has turned into a week-long trend of checking my teeth by baring them at the mirror every single time I enter the bathroom. 

Image result for horse baring teeth
google images

At our "let's celebrate your birthday" get together last Saturday, my sweet mother-in-law was commenting on our society's absolute obsession with entertainers. She has a hard time understanding why we as a society are so enamored by celebrities, and I agree with her. It shouldn't be that way. We should be looking up to people who aren't famous for being famous, but people who exemplify living out their faith, who work for the betterment of society, who are humble and not selfish, those who take care of the sick and feed the hungry and help the oppressed. 

But I must admit, sometimes it all starts with yellow teeth.

You have a perceived flaw--a blemish, if you will, and you see someone else who has beauty where you have a flaw. So you strive to either be like them or get what they have, and either way, it is often too slippery a slope to navigate.

As our society has advanced, along with technology and media and everything else, we have what we've never had before: instant access to things that 100 years ago we may have been content not knowing about. (Take out all the bad, because I'm not even going there.) But we now have access to pictures and beauty remedies and suggestions and videos and articles that we have to sift through to land at the truth. And sometimes, in all that sifting and pondering and trying to figure out what is fiction and what is real, we get a little sidetracked by what we see and ultimately decide to believe as true. 

I walked by the mirror the other day and did NOT appreciate what I saw: my own reflection. It's something I struggle with on a pretty consistent basis, this "appreciation of self" or whatever you want to call it. I just know that I don't always like what I see, because I see flaws instead of beauty, things to fix instead of things to celebrate. As many of us have, I've halfheartedly considered major surgery to fix what I see as wrong, but I've realized along the way that no amount of plastic surgery will ever make me happy with the way I look, because I'm not always happy with me. 

I recently read a book where the main character's (Rose) husband had an affair that ultimately broke up the marriage, and she was understandably distraught. She reasoned that she was not ______ for him (fill in the blank: skinny enough, tall enough, pretty enough, in good shape enough, didn't have flat abs, big boobs, a perfect body, etc, etc, etc). In one particularly poignant scene, Rose undresses and just looks at herself in the mirror, telling herself this is me.  And while she may not have been happy with every single thing about her body, she was able to accept herself as herself. The end.

None of us are perfect, even the ones that we see from afar who seem that way. Most of the information coming at us is blurred around the edges, making things seem different or better or more enhanced than they really are. We can't dismiss the person we are or the great qualities we have just because they don't align perfectly with someone else's perceived perfections. Even if that someone else is a superstar. Or is famous for being famous. Or models underwear beautifully. Let that person be that person, or, as my sister says, you do you, and I'll do me.

This is me. 

I won't be successful every single time I walk by a mirror, but I can purposefully choose not to immediately judge myself so harshly when I am tempted to do a major critique. 

This is me. And I can let it be a beautiful thing.

google images

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