look, not scrutinize

In an attempt to catch up and keep from drowning in unread items in my Google Reader (are we sensing a theme?), I came across this quote, and it made me stop.

The instructor reminds us to "look, not scrutinize" at our reflections in the mirror.

I got to wondering - how many of us are really capable of doing so?

I like to read a lot of advice/self-helpy type things (surprise!) because I have a proven track record of maybe not knowing everything (surprise!) and input is generally ok. In my couch-surfer 'research' and have-read lists, I've come across tales of so many broken women, who approach clothes shopping with shame, avoid or obsess over the scale or the clothing size, and can't see themselves in the mirror without also being critical.

This is no way to live.  You know it and I know it, and we need to do something about it.

You know that scene in Mean Girls (I KNOW you've seen that movie) where Cady is with the Plastics at the lead girl's house (Regina?  With the psycho mom?), and they each take turns saying something bad about themselves in the mirror (big nose, visible pores, stuff like that) and Cady has to make up something ridiculous?  Because it never occurred to her to sit and scrutinize herself in the mirror.  Can you imagine passing your reflection and NOT immediately harping on what you wish would change?

Who out there doesn't have a running list of flaws and has to MAKE UP something bad about themselves? Not many of us women-folk, I'd be willing to wager.  But how different would your life be if you dropped the scrutiny and went for acceptance instead?

Wasn't it Ghandi who said that you had to BE the change?  Poking at your limp cheeks or your muffin top or your unbelievably wide hips and huge thunder thighs that defy physics every time you squeeze into a pair of jeans (HELLO) won't do a bit of good.  Being realistic will, though.

I'm lucky(?) enough not to have a full-length mirror in my house.  This isn't intentional - it's just that I've always been able to find something more important to spend $15 on than another mirror.  Some days it sucks, especially in the midst of a shoe dilemma, but other days it's nice that I can only huff and puff at my head and shoulders.  Some of my favorite features happen to fall on my head and shoulders.  The scale is kind enough not to let the state of things overall fade into oblivion.

Stop and think about how you look at yourself.  Are you kind, or are you too critical?  How would your life be changed if you could observe yourself, silently noticing without judgment?  What if you could only see the things you like about yourself - how would that affect your day?

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