I decided the other day, that when I stand in front of the mirror in the downstairs bathroom with the light on and my glasses off, I look pretty good. I’m not sure if it’s the lighting, or the fact that I have my glasses off and can’t see as well, or both. But standing in that spot makes me look at least five years younger. Life is good in front of that mirror.
And then I get in the car and see myself in the harsh daylight. At that moment my dream world vanishes. Every line and wrinkle shows and I realized that in the car mirror I look at least five years older than I really am. I would say that the moral of the story is that I should always stand in front of the bathroom mirror with my glasses off and the light on, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to work.
All of us want to be seen in our best light. To look our best in front of others. To control how others see us, think about us.
Recently I started to read a book that talked about how social media has given us more power than ever over the image we project to the world. It was filled with studies and statistics and research, and I only made it through a few chapters before deciding this was not the right book for me. Too much data and too many studies for my brain to grasp. But it did bring up an interesting point. With the help of technology it is easier than ever to project a picture of ourselves that may or may not even be real.
We take 25 pictures and post the very best one on our Facebook page. Or, if we aren’t happy with any of them, we just take more until we find the perfect one. We edit and re-edit our emails until we are sure we are saying just the right thing in just the right way. We post cute stories and tell about our great days.
Occasionally we will put up a picture or post about days that have gone wrong. Even then we try to put a funny or positive spin on it. Yes I had a rough day, but really, everything in our neck of the woods is good. I’m great. My husband is great. My kids are great. The dog is great. Our jobs, financial situation, health … great, great, great.
Somewhere I read that we can’t be fully loved until we are fully known. Opening up and sharing our true hearts is tough. I think in part because we are afraid that if people see the real us, they won’t feel we are worthy of their love and friendship.
This week I’ve been thinking that there is someone who knows me fully and loves me anyway – God. He doesn’t care how I look or what I’ve said or done on any given day. He looks at me with delight and tells me I am His much loved child. Whether I’m standing in front of the mirror or in full sunlight He sees me as being His masterpiece. And viewing myself as having been created by an amazing artist who delights in His creation is even better than how I think I look in the downstairs mirror, lights on, and glasses off.