Dew On the Flower of Life

ku-xlargeLeo Tolstoy wrote, “It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness”. Experience has taught me the truth of his words. I have loved some women mainly for what was on the outside, while ignoring, for a time, what emanated from within. Of course, every time I got my heart broken. Looking from the vantage point of today it is simple to see why.

Soul, heart and mind are on the “inside” of a person. They’re not worn where its easy to see their qualities and character. The “inside of a book” takes time to know. The bewildering part has been the more beautiful the woman I loved, to a person, the more self-conscious and down on herself she was.

In particular, people tend to have a distorted appreciation of how they look. There are a few people who look in the mirror and think they look terrific all the time; but they are few. Many more look in the mirror and see an acne scar which they think dominates their appearance—or a prominent nose, or a weak chin, or a receding hairline, or gray hair (even when, sometimes, they have no visible gray hair), or eyebrows that are too thin or two thick, and so on.

The mirror lies. As people tend to see everything in life as they expect it to be, they see, especially, in the mirror, what they expect to see. Elderly people looking in the mirror do not recognize that they have grown older, until, suddenly, they find themselves in front of a different mirror and their face is lit up more brightly, or just differently. It is usually a disconcerting and uncomfortable experience. Some people give up looking at their reflection. They purposely turn away when they walk by a mirror. Sometimes they unexpectedly walk by a full length mirror at night and do not see their accustomed reflection. Rather, they see a parent reflected back at them. All of this seems new to them because they have unexpectedly observed themselves from a different perspective. Fredric Neuman, M.D.

Admittedly, I am not completely comfortable ‘seeing’ myself in a mirror. When I go past just acknowledging my reflection and really look at myself, it appears the years showing exceed the number I have lived. I’m told I look younger than I am, but my reflection appears the reverse to me. My hair has thinned more than I really want to notice and I have a “belly”. My skin is changing texture and growing rougher. I see small veins showing on my ankles. Lines and creases are chiseled into my face.. It’s all okay though, or at least moving in that direction. With making myself see what is from a different perspective awareness is growing. And awareness is were accurate, and thereby, confidence begins.

My perception of my image in a mirror is slowly changing. By paying more attention and really seeing what is there, I am becoming able to look past what I regret and see what I have to be grateful about. Over and over its been proven to me what I find gratitude for becomes improved. And so it is with my sense about my appearance. Gratefulness is dew on a flower of life that makes it shine and sparkle.

Above all, don’t lie to yourself.
The man who lies to himself
and listens to his own lie
comes to a point that he cannot
distinguish the truth within him,
around him, and so loses
all respect for himself and for others.
And having no respect he ceases to love.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky