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  • Writer's pictureLeslie J. Sherrod, MSW, LCSW-C

Mirror Images

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

You wake up one morning and realize you’ve overslept. A Zoom meeting is scheduled in ten minutes and you are required to be on camera. In a mad dash, you throw on your favorite shirt, run your fingers through your hair, and rub your eyes to be camera ready. For good measure, you decide to check yourself in a mirror before sitting in front of your computer. To your horror, the image you see reflects stains, wrinkles, matted hair, and sleep residue. You know exactly what to do to fix what you see. You grab a bottle of Windex and a soft cloth and immediately start scrubbing the mirror for the reflected image to improve, right? Of course not! Cleaning the glass is not the solution. To change the image you see in the mirror, you must directly clean up, brush up, and touch up the areas of yourself needing attention.

While we may chuckle at the idea that one would choose to clean a mirror instead of fixing the object it reflects, how often do we do this very thing? We may see blatant aspects of ourselves that are messy or neglected, yet, instead of directly addressing those matters, we spend our energy cleaning up the image of how we think others see us. We do our best to present picture perfect professionalism or glossy glamour. We offer polished presentations of ourselves that project what we want others to believe about us. We do our best to avoid showing what cameras cannot catch – the hurts, pains, disappointments, personal failings, guilt, and shame that are hiding quietly in the background, just below the surface of our smiling faces. We do all we can to shine up our images, instead of doing the detailed work of fixing our hidden flaws and healing our broken places. It may feel easier to wipe the mirror than to fix the mess. However, keep in mind that when the smudges on your morning face are wiped away, the image that reflects will naturally shine, no Windex needed.

Rise and shine! Awaken to a new awareness of yourself and address the very things you are trying to hide. Time and effort may be required as you pick and prod. You may even need a professional, such as a therapist or counselor, to help you get yourself just right. What will result is an image that reflects the best of you - the pretty, and purposed, and powerful authentic version of you. Imagine!

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