I recently had the most delightful evening with two young girls. Swimming, some TV and crafting and really made me smile from ear to ear to be with such sweet young ladies. The wise elder sister, with nearly a decade of life under her belt, was looking at some photos I’d taken of them jumping in the water, splashing about and having a fun time. She scrolled a bit and then handed my phone back, saying rather matter of factly…you sure do take a lot of selfies!
She made me smile from head to toe with her unvarnished assessment. I realized I really DO take a lot of selfies…and then wondered if there is some narcissistic component to my love of pictures. But I think I’m just making up for lost time. And I’m holding myself accountable. When I take a photo I see the things the mirror hid from me. The shoes that were not my best choice, the buttons done one off from the placket, the hair a little wilder than I meant it to be…the burgeoning waist or filled out face.
Because the flash in the mirror I don’t get to sit and study. But the photo, I most certainly do. And it helps me see that I am either right on track or on the high end of the banked turns when I see my photos.
And having spent SO MUCH of my life indicating the photo should be taken from the boobs up, or due to my height being able to go to the back of any group photo and just be a fat, floating head above the bodies of my thin counterparts, I realized that I did not have a whole lot of photos of the whole of me. Sure, I have photos, but not in the way I do now. I used to be sure my husband, my children, my friends, my pets…all were featured in photographs, but now I want to be featured in them. I *want* that and it’s so surreal and strange to me and yet something I have embraced so wholeheartedly as well.
The ability to see myself, to cut my head off, to observe and study the truth is tremendously helpful for me to reel myself in or propel myself forward.
I enjoy, so much, the ability to view the good and the bad without having the need to cry out as Snow White’s evil stepmother did into her magic mirror…because I am not looking to be fairest of all…I am looking to be the best version of me I can be and to confront the reality of photos along the way.
Don’t hide behind the camera…even if the photos are just for you…take them, track your progress, see when you are winning, when you are stalling and when you need to have a frank talk with yourself.
And not taking the photo doesn’t mean the picture doesn’t exist…it’s out there in the minds eye of everyone who sees you. See yourself the way others do and if it makes you smile, celebrate. And if it does not, do something about it.
Do or do not…there is no try.
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