We all do it, we look in the mirror but what do we see. Do we see ourselves as we really are? Are we too critical and notice only the flaws? Do we see ourselves only on the dark side like The Portrait of Dorian Grey? Or, do we see ourselves vainly as Snow White’s evil stepmother “the fairest of them all”? How can we see ourselves as we really are and love that person? Accept that person?
It is hard. My mother just gave me some photos of when I was younger and I was amazed at how I looked. I remember thinking back then of all the things I didn’t like about my looks. I look in the mirror now and I am still so overweight, I do get sad by how different the outside looks than the inside feels. But I accept that it is a process. I am improving my health and the healthy weight will come. In the mean time I have to accept that I have the wrinkles of a 53 year old and I have the stretch marks earned by the years of not taking care of myself. So, I see me as I am and accept me as I am and love me as I am.
If I love myself for who I am and where I am in my life today then tomorrow will be brighter. I know this now. I have a lot of regrets from the past and have wished to go back and erase some of the mistakes I made and thereby the lines I have earned, but I don’t wish this now. I made my choices then the best I could in the circumstances. This acceptance is acceptance of all the good and the ill that has resulted from these decisions. As popeye wisely says,”I am who I am and that’s all that I am.” This doesn’t mean I stop trying to improve my choices or taking care of myself, this means I accept all the parts of myself and let go of regrets. I must channel these regrets into better choice making for the future.
I can’t make up to my family for choosing work over time with them. I can’t make up to them for having times when I was partying and hanging with friends. And I can’t make up to them for moving them back and forth across country. It is what it is and I hate that saying, but I did what I did and all that I did is now a part of them. For good or bad, they are who they are. And actually, my children are incredible young men, and therefore I didn’t do all bad.
I love my sons and the men they have become. I hope they appreciate how special they are and the good lives they have carved out for themselves. Perhaps my ill choices guided them to be more stable, thereby saving them from a life of wandering like their mother. If so, then my bad choices as well as my good ones have helped to make them stronger. Having the experience of living in many locations helped to make them appreciate stability. Did it make it hard for them to make true and lasting friendships? Perhaps it has, and I hope they will overcome this as well.
I hope I will overcome this too. I hope my sons will forgive me my past and love me for who I am now and where I am going from this day forward. I am doing the best I can and I have never stopped loving and caring for them from the moment they were conceived. For all my friends and family I hope they know that in all my decisions I have always tried to do what was best, just sometimes the choices were not clear to me at the time. We all have the limited scope of our own perceptions with which to make our choices. So I am trying to accept me now and be here now and love my life here now with my husband.
If I have learned one thing it is this, let it go. Stop carrying around your past and your past choices. They are still a part of you whether you like it or not. So just love yourself for who you are and appreciate that you survived that past. Go forward stronger, smarter, and not looking back but forward. And don’t look too far forward either. Enjoy today, not wishes and dreams of a different tomorrow. If you are wanting to erase the past and fantasize about the future, you are again making bad choices in the now and missing out on your life while messing up the future as well. Just try being happy to be here today.