Isn’t it amazing that every single thing we do affects the people around us? Every word, every post, every decision, every action influences the people that cross our path. My brother came for a visit recently and he asked me this question, “Kim, why do you keep looking in your rear view mirror and worrying about the guy behind you?”
How could I ever make him understand that it’s so much more than a driving thing for me? I am always aware of others all around me. I know all too well that the words I use, the tone of my voice, the way I act directly influences everyone in my life. I have mirrors all around me and I am constantly paying attention to what I see in them. Does that always improve my behavior? Not likely, but the fact that I have made that connection gives me hope for positive change in the future.
We are so unaware of the power we possess. Our words, our voice, everything we decide to do can create a reaction in somebody else. Have you noticed how people react to you? Yes, that tells you something about them but it can also teach you a great deal about yourself. Does the room get a little bit lighter when you walk in or do things feel tense? What is it you feel when you are around others? If you aren’t noticing much of anything then you’re just not paying enough attention.
I’ve learned to find some balance with this silly little reflection of mine. If I focus too much on everything I do I can become almost paranoid, but the opposite leads straight down the road of selfish behavior. Be aware, pay attention and choose your words and actions carefully. The only thing we really have any control over is our own behavior. Remember, it’s not just about you. We are connected, like it or not.
I did today what most woman dread to do. I walked into Dillard’s, scooped up several bathing suits and ventured into the fitting room to try them on. For years I have been self conscious about my body. I would stand in front of that mirror and magnify every single flaw. That’s exactly what the mirror was for me, a magnifying glass. I would walk in feeling hopeful and come out feeling completely disgusted and depressed. But today was a much different story. I picked out colorful suits. I walked away from the plain black suits that I could always hide away in and chose the brightest, most colorful suits I could find. One after the other, I put piece after piece on and loved them all. I reminded myself with each new suit that I am the same weight now as I was the day I graduated from high school. I have given birth twice and lived 43 years in this tired body. And you know what? It rocks. I’m not perfect. I am full of flaws but this time I focused on the whole and not the individual parts that have caused me such stress over the last several years. So, now I have a whole new fun wardrobe of swimming attire and I am looking forward to wearing them proudly in public. This is my body. It is who I am and I can choose to embrace it or choose to be ashamed of it. I am the best version of me that I can be and it doesn’t matter what the girl lying on the chair next to me looks like. There is no reason to compare. There is a great freedom that comes with self-acceptance. There is freedom in being cured from the disease to always want to be someone different or be something greater than we are. Be you and be happy. The bottom line is this. Your body looks exactly the same in a plain black suit or a crazy, colorful one. Buy the crazy one and wear it proudly.