Monday, September 15, 2014

Standing Naked

Have you ever stood in front of a mirror naked?  Yes, I said naked and mirror in the same sentence, and I do mean looking at yourself.  I do not necessarily mean standing naked physically, but mentally or spiritually.  While I have your attention, let us talk about physically first.  If you have never done this, today might be your lucky day!  When you are standing in front of a mirror, you are probably the most honest with yourself in terms of your physical attributes.  As you look in the mirror, you have the opportunity (whether you want to or not) to see every part that is smooth, or not so smooth (as we age, this ratio changes), we see our shape, notice the size and proportions of our body parts, and see any blemishes on our body (for health reasons, this one is important).  When we start our day and get dressed, we prepare ourselves for how we wish other people to see us.  When I had gained weight a few years ago, I wore slightly baggy shirts to de-emphasize my belly.  When people complimented me on looking like I lost weight, I politely thanked them, yet knew better and was bothered by the deceit.

Walking naked up to a mirror is simple, provided you have a full-length mirror.  What about viewing the naked you mentally and spiritually?  Where can you find a mirror that will expose our inner selves?  And, would we potentially scare ourselves by what we see?  I have met people in my life (as I am sure you have), that when you meet them, you notice that there might be some possibility of physical beauty until they open their mouth.  They talk negatively, or are not nice people, and then you notice, that their appearance has lost the possibility of physical beauty and matches their personality.  If you meet those same people years later, their visage may appear more scowling. On the other hand, I have met older people that have a younger, friendlier face and actually have the personality to match.  But that is judging, or observing, other people.

Last year, during the summer, I went to my brother’s house to use his pool.  I was feeling kind of down, as my father had just had a stroke.  With doctor and hospital visits, I was drained emotionally, spiritually and physically.  No one was at his house.  I ended up floating in the water looking up at the sky.  It provided me with a chance to look at myself, what I was doing and where I was going.  I realized that I had been short with some people and found ways not to face situations beyond my dad.  During this “me time” I was able to reflect and mentally stand naked in front of myself.  How often do we take the time mentally to review ourselves?  I found it was rare that I did this.  This was for me to evaluate me, to evaluate myself, not how other people see me nor compare me to anyone else.  For other people, I could act anyway I wish, but at the end of the day, only I stand by myself when I am naked in front of the mirror.