the bare naked self

How often do you look at yourself in the mirror? I'm not talking about the glance (or stare for some of us) into the mirror each morning or the occasional 'primp' we take while taking a restroom break, instead I'm talking about a real looksey at who you are. Strip away the face you paste on each day for the outside world to see, take off the hat you've somehow been designated to wear - and look at yourself. For a long time I'd run when I saw that bare naked self but lately my feet have stayed planted firmly in place. The strange thing about self discovery is that along with the realization of who you are, you inevitably begin to see who the people you've surrounded yourself are too. Maybe it's because when we don't really know ourselves we tend to invite people into our lives that fit the self we think we are. I'm not saying everyone in your life won't fit after you take a good long look at yourself, I'm saying the reasons you needed them there - in your life, may change.

When I was weak, I needed someone stronger than me
When I was scared I needed someone braver than I
When I was lonely, I needed someone that could fill up the space around me
When I was confused, I needed someone with all the answers
When I was angry, I needed someone to blame
When I was happy, I needed someone to remind me - happiness isn't forever
When I was in pain, I needed someone who had deeper scars than I did
When I wanted to be needed, I found someone that was broken
When I had no hope, I stopped having expectations
When the scars began to heal, I needed someone to notice
When I grew strong, I needed someone to let me - be strong
When I became my own best company, I needed someone that didn't take up my space
When I grew wise, I needed someone to let me have the answers
When I stopped being angry, I needed to stop blaming myself
When I remembered how to be happy, I needed to let myself be happy
When the pain lessened, I needed to be reminded I was strong enough to handle it
When I found hope, I needed to believe in hope - then raise my expectations

I read on someone's blog not so long ago that when they think about who they are and who they wanted to be, the two self's are very far apart. There's only one way to bring the two closer, look in the mirror more than once in your lifetime, in fact - look often.


  1. NMAMFQLMSH said...
    When I look in the mirror I see someone who needs to exercise more and eat less. Loss that 15 pounds and maybe someday get a face lift. But when I look past the mirror into my soul I am one happy being. I can go to sleep at night knowing I'm a good person with some physical flaws.
    k said...
    You are so accurate on your assessment. Life=change, change=life. I suppose it's all in how you look at it huh?

    Is there ever a period in our lives when we don't NEED something in one way or another? Be it from ourselves or someone else...? Isn't it mastering the need that makes us stronger?
    WDKY said...
    NWC, I can relate to this in a big way, and I actually think you've touched on something really important.

    I look in the mirror (metaphorically) all the time. It was a hard thing to do at one point in my life, but as I've managed to bridge the gap between the person I want to be and the person I actually am, it's become a lot easier. Now, it's a kind of sanity check, just to make sure I haven't wandered off somewhere I didn't mean to.

    From what I know about you, the mirror doesn't hold a great deal of fear for you. I have a suspicion a lot of it has to do with growing up, spiritually and emotionally, but then what doesn't? Great post.
    sirreene said...
    Very interesting. I recall being with a group of youth and they were complaining of being "bored". Our group leader told them to go to a mirror and take a long look at what they were bored with and decide if they wanted to do something about it. I never forgot that.
    Networkchic said...
    sireene - that's one smart person that told those kids that. If only we would listen at that young age.

    WDKY - I think we all need those sanity checks now and then. We tend to be lazy and forget that being true to ourselves is a hard job.
    k o w said...
    I look in the mirror everyday, often multiple times a day. It's therapy.
    TJ said...
    very insightful, beautiful post, NWC.

    One thing that jumped out at me the second time that I read it was that the first 3/4 mentioned the qualities that you needed in others that you needed to help you with what you were going through at the moment. But the last four talk about the qualities that you were able to find in yourself.

    Sometimes it just takes awhile for us to recognize the person looking back from the mirror.
    Annalis said...
    Lovely post. Who knew I could read a blog and feel better. I love this crazy thing called Blogger. This really hits home for me. Thank you.
    Jill said...
    It's really not important what you see in the mirror, but how well you see beyond yourself.
    kimmyk said...
    today i sat on my bed and took a look at myself. unfortunately i didnt look "at" me....tomorrow i shall do this and think about what you've said.
    its not going to be pretty, but i'll do it.
    Blueprincesa said...
    It takes guts to do that, but it's important. One of the most important things you can do.
    NML said...
    You are sooo right. If we don't confront ourselves, we don't confront our truth. Great post :-)

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