Monday, February 8, 2016

A Distorted Image

Yesterday I took Lucy for a long walk and noticed shiny blue Christmas balls hanging from a tree. I thought they were pretty, so I took a picture. You can sort of see my image in it, reflecting back. But not really. It's distorted. It doesn't give you an accurate view.




Kind of like the Funhouse mirrors at the carnival when we were kids. Remember those?



Fun to look at. Funny even--because we know it's not really what we look like.

But what about when we look in our bathroom mirror? Or the full length one behind the closet door? Worse, the one in the dressing room, that gives us an image on all sides, showing things we don't ordinarily see and would rather not see? What then? Do we laugh? Or do we cringe? 

My guess is that none of us look at that image in a lighthearted way because we know it's real. It's not distorted in any way. Or is it?

I'd like to suggest that the image looking back at you is the one telling you those things--call it your own thinking--and even though it is you, it's not. It's still an image, and it's distorted.



That person in the mirror is just that--an image. It's yourself looking back at you in a backwards way. You see yourself in the mirror opposite of how you really look, but not completely opposite.

Think about it--your right eye is looking back at you on the right, but if you jumped on the other side, it would be your left eye. But it's not, because when you put your mascara on, it's going on your right eye. So it's still your right eye. But you're backwards. Doesn't quite make sense does it?

Neither does it make sense for you to beat yourself up over the way you look.

I lost almost 30 pounds in the last six months. I tell you this because even though I'm now at a healthy weight, and I (pretty much) like the way I look, I realized that God doesn't love me any more that I'm thin than he did when I was overweight and disgusted with the way I looked. He loves me the same, no matter how I look. 

God is love. And if God is love and He loves me just the way I am, then who am I to try to override that? As long as I keep trying to love myself on my own, I'll always fail--I'll always see the flaws.

If I cannot accept the unconditional love of God--regardless of the way I look--I cannot love myself. I cannot accept who I am and what I look like if I continue to reject God's acceptance of who I am and what I look like. I will forever have a distorted image--not only of myself, but of God.

So the next time you're putting your makeup on, brushing your hair, or just stopping in a store window to check yourself out (I know you do it), remember that it will always be just a distorted image looking back at you. That's not how God sees you, and it's not how everyone else sees you either. 

You have to go out of yourself to really see yourself, so stop living inside yourself. Stop berating yourself and start celebrating who you are! God loves you, and so do I, so you should too.

Blessings Along the Path,
Mare

Sharing this blog with some of these lovelies 

RubyFebruary2016The February issue of Ruby For Women is here! Check out my short story on page 9---Voice Prompts at the Heavenly Gates. Can you imagine if you had to follow voice prompts to get into heaven???


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23 comments:

  1. I found this most encouraging! In the last three years I have re-gained the 35 pounds I lost and kept off for quite a long time. I do feel disgusted with myself. I don't like the image in the mirror. I find myself constantly doing battle with the disparaging things I think and say about myself. God doesn't want that. Yes, I can do some work on getting myself into a healthier state again, but in the meantime, God doesn't want me bashing my character. He loves me. He loves ME. It's the whisper of unconditional love that will sustain me, no matter what my outside looks like.

    Thanks, Mary, for this today.

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. That's right, Sharon! Hey, I struggle with it too...as you well know, just because we write about something doesn't mean we have conquered it, right? But until I get my heavenly body, I have to make do with this earth suit, so I may as well take care if it and accept it. I won't be getting another one here on earth. There are so many layers of God's unconditional love that we over-complicate. Thanks for visiting, Sharon.

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  2. I love this too. Was just speaking about this topic with a dear friend. Thanks for putting it into words.

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    1. Thanks, Thea. I tend to have an easier time explaining things in writing than I do in spoken words. Too bad my mouth doesn't have a backspace or delete option...but that's another topic. Thank you for your kind words, dear friend.

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  3. Hey Mary,
    I came over on Tuesday Talk to find your post today!
    It seems that I'm running into this wonderful theme over and over this week - God just loves us!
    Isn't that profound really - that Jesus loves me period!
    Thanks for echoing the words that I must need to hear this week!
    Hope you have a blessed day~
    Melanie

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    1. I have been seeing the same theme! Maybe it's a pr-Valentine's Day thing--if it is, I didn't know I was doing it. And yes, it really is profound--we can't say that about any human being--no one loves without conditions--not even parents. We say we do, but we still experience human emotions. And any parent knows...we all have days...thanks for visiting, Melanie.

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  4. So good. So true. So close to my heart today. Thank you!

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    1. Glad it spoke to you, Samantha. Blessings to you.

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  5. My blog this week was on loving ourselves for Valentine's Day so I was drawn to your blog on #testimonytuesday ! Although I send congratulations on your weight loss..I know such self-care feats always helps us feel better, what really matters is God's love that roots us in self-love! Blessings! I'm so glad I visited today!

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    1. True, Kathy. The weight loss was necessary, along with healthier eating...for health reasons...and I feel so much better...BUT, as we both know, God's love is not dependent on how we look or even feel.

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  6. Beautiful reminder! The only true reflection of who we are is God's reflection back to us. I am hyper critical when I look into a mirror and it's almost as if I can hear another voice in my ear saying those things to me. It is not me! I need to read this several times to get this in my head. God loves me-every part of me-just the way I am.

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    1. Pretty cool to think about that image, right,Mary? Thanks for visiting.

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  7. Beautiful post...very well done! Thanks for sharing your inspiration with the Thursday Blog Hop!

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    1. Thank you Pam. And thanks for stopping by for a visit.

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  8. I love this post, Mare! You've hit the target. I've started listening to myself say, "Y'know, you should look better than you do. I mean look how much you exercise. You really should look better." It's devastating and
    I didn't like seeing the reflection in my giant bathroom mirror. The lies of the flesh swirl and it's so important to stay grounded in God's love and truth! Timely reminder for me!

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    1. A very good friend used to tell me, "Stop 'shoulding' on yourself!" So, I'll pass that on to you. Glad you were blessed and encouraged.

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  9. True words. So important we get our worth from Christ, not the mirror.

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    1. Yes, Vickie. I try to recall the whole strange backwards thing each time I start berating my image. thanks for visiting.

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  10. Mary, thank you for the encouragement and the reminder that we are who God says we are and not who we feel like at the moment. Those feelings are temporary but God's view on us is eternal. Thank you for sharing with us at Sitting Among Friends on Wednesdays. I look forward to seeing you again this week.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Jaime.

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  11. Mary, thank you! I loved the fun house mirror analogy. I think I get a distorted image of myself when glancing in the mirror. One of the things I'm trying to remind myself is smiling helps. And yes, thank you for reminding me that although people judge and critique the outside . . . my Father loves me and cares more about the inside. Blessings my friend!

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    1. I appreciate your stopping by, Deb. We all need those reminders...daily!

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  12. Excellent post. You will be the featured post this Saturday on Word of God Speak. Thanks for showing us what really matters. You are special just the way you are (my theme for Tadeo Turtle).
    Blessings,
    Janis

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