Sunday, March 10, 2019

See Yourself Like Your Kids See You, With Eyes of Love

A few weeks ago I went to the Rodeo for the first time in a really long time and I went twice, back to back. On the second night there I wore these beautiful earrings that my sister gave me for my birthday, so I asked this woman I hardly know, a friend of a friend, to take a picture of me. You couldn't see the earrings in the first picture so she arranged them and took the picture again. What resulted were these two photos of me that sparked so many likes and comments on social media.

Friends commented that I looked beautiful and I commented that it was just the angle or the lighting, etc.. One friend chastised me to accept the compliments, something I always tell people myself, but then don't follow.

At home I told my daughter about this and she held my face in her hands and told me, "That's how you look. You look just like that right now. You look like that all the time."

Part of me thought that it was my daughter just being nice because I'm her mom and she loves me, but then I stopped. I can't think that way. I need to see myself in those same eyes of love.

Yeah, sometimes photos aren't going to be flattering. Sometimes you can see the wrinkles, the bags under my eyes look bigger than usual because maybe I'm tired. Or the angle shows off my double chin more than usual. When we see photos like that of ourselves we tend to think that's how we always look, but it's not true. We have to stop that negative self-talk.

For some reason we've been led to believe that thinking we are beautiful is narcissistic and vain. Women are criticized for posting selfies of themselves.

When I hear that criticism I always go back to the poem "Ode to the Selfie," by Megan Falley and Olivia Gatwood.

The last half of the last stanza is amazing.

"Today millions of girls loved themselves
in the face of a world who tells them not to.
And isn’t that small revolution enough?
And isn’t that the greatest revolution of all?"

Why does it have to be such a revolutionary idea to love ourselves? It shouldn't be.

This week I will make it an exercise to see myself like my kids see me, with eyes of love, and to believe that I am just as beautiful as I look in these photos. Will you join me in thinking the same about yourself?

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