Day 26: A Day Without Looking in the Mirror

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I don’t consider myself to be vain. And while I don’t go out of the house without makeup and my hair brushed, I also don’t spend a lot of time in front of the mirror, primping. So I thought this day’s first, going the whole day without looking in the mirror, would be a snap.

Brushing my teeth, applying a minimal amount of makeup, fixing my hair this morning, I very deliberately avoided the mirror. This daily regime is such a habit that I found I didn’t really need the mirror.  I could feel my way around my face and run a finger down the side part in my hair and be assured it was relatively straight. No one looked at me oddly once I left the house or raised an eyebrow, so I felt confident that all was well with my appearance.

Every time I got in the car, though, I found myself leaning over to look into the rear view mirror, and not for the purpose of checking for cars behind me. I didn’t know I habitually did this! I didn’t catch myself trying to peek just once, I had to stop myself from looking every time I slid into the driver’s seat. I also realized today how prominent mirrors are. They lurk in every room, in expected and unexpected places. I kept my eyes averted.

I was surprised to find that I wanted to glance into a mirror or reflective surface often. And there is nothing wrong with that. However, there was liberation that came with avoiding the mirror and joy in being okay with moving through the day, just as I was, without checking my hair or looking to see if my nose was shiny. The world around me became my mirror, reflecting back to me my state of being. If I smiled, a smile came back. If I waved, a wave was returned. Peace, silence, weariness, laughter, delight, all were reflected back, showing me who I was, in that moment. This was the best possible mirror to gaze into.

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