Looking into the “Right” Mirror
As I sit here writing this article, those of you who know me would not recognize my face. After extensive dental work in the front of my mouth yesterday, my lips and cheeks are swollen beyond recognition. After breaking a few speed limits to get to my dentist’s office this morning, and being assured that this is likely soft tissue damage from all of the shots, tugging and pulling, I am now back home. Antibiotics and Benadryl were prescribed as well as ice packs and frequent salt water rinses. Hopefully within a day or two things will be back to normal.
When you look into a mirror and the face staring back at you appears to belong to someone else it is a very unsettling and scary thing. Throughout the morning, several things have come to mind that I want to get on paper while the feelings are still fresh. The recurring thought that has come to me over and over today is that my looks are just a teeny tiny part of who I really am. When I walk away from the mirror, everything is the same today as it was yesterday.
Several times today, the phone rang and I engaged in a conversation with someone; one was a dear friend, one was my sweet Momma, and several were telemarketers. The point is that the person on the other end of that line has no idea what I look like. They have no idea that I can barely make the “m” sound because my lips don’t touch right now; nor that I closely resemble a terrible “Planet of the Apes” face that I make to get a laugh. (Only today I’m not laughing).
What they DO know is how I participate in our conversation. Am I authentic? Am I polite? Do I actually take time to listen to what they have to say? Do I make them feel like what they have to say really matters to me? These things are so much more important than my outward appearance. In addition, I have gotten texts from a few people today; the same criteria applies there.
It is amazing how my priorities instantly come into focus when something happens in my life that throws me into a tailspin. Instantly I am driven to my knees in prayer. Instantly I want my life to matter way beyond the outer trappings of the world. Instantly I find myself in deep introspection, seeking guidance from those who know much more than I do.
As I sit here, the news is on the television; playing out the horrible events of last night in Dallas as once again lives were taken much too soon because of hatred. It has occurred to me that none of those senseless deaths would have happened if only we could all learn to look in the right mirror. For if we look into our inward mirror, we cannot see skin color or uniforms. We cannot see things that don’t matter, but only the things that truly do matter. We see things like authenticity, kindness and love. Or we may see a lack thereof and find a need to change. Either way, the characteristics that truly make a difference in this life have absolutely nothing to do with our outer appearance. We’ve got to learn to see past that.
Not the fairest of them all,