Seeing Myself Clearly

I love how simple activities can suddenly arrest my attention and bring clarity to my journey. A song on the radio, a billboard along the highway, pulling weeds in the garden, all hold potential lessons for my soul, if I have the awareness to see. 

This morning, after a deliciously hot shower, I stepped onto the thick bathroom rug, and with hair and body wrapped in towels, caught sight of my reflection in the full length mirror. 

My reflection looked like this. I only know it was me, because I was there!

I picked up a hand towel, to wipe away the condensation, and then paused. Something important was drawing my attention inward. 

Since reading Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton, I have been thinking much about her words. The shower is a great place for me to ponder deeply. I have accepted the invitation from the Divine to own my story, to know myself honestly and completely, and to use words to share my inner thoughts, rather than remain silent. I want to see myself more clearly than I ever have before. 

I sensed a learning moment, as I peered at my hazy reflection in the steamed over mirror. I thought of the scripture that tells of seeing in a mirror dimly, and then face to face, of knowing in part and then knowing and being known fully. I realized that although Paul’s words are about a deeper spiritual truth, they also apply to my current journey of seeing and knowing myself more clearly. 

Without wiping away the condensation, I quickly fetched my iPhone, to document the truths that were stirring. 

As the room cooled and the moisture evaporated from the mirror, my image became clearer and clearer. There was still distortion at first, that hid my true self. This has been so evident in my life. I used to hide who I was. Like everyone else, I learned as a child what to do, or not do, what to say, or not say, to be most acceptable to others. I strove to please everyone and avoid confrontation. After years of hiding behind the carefully placed masks I wore, I forgot who I really was. I forgot what I really looked like, free of the distortion that being a people pleaser created. 

My journey the past six years has been about wiping away the last of that cloudiness that keeps me from not only seeing myself clearly but obscures the self that I offer to others. I have been guided, gently and surely, to the experiences, people and books that can best assist me in gaining clarity. 

Bit by bit, my honest and authentic self has been revealed, much as my image grew sharper in the mirror this morning as all distortion faded away. Who I am is coming into focus, and I am grateful for the journey, and for the simple yet thought provoking experience today. 

At last I could look into the mirror and whisper, Oh…there you are. I’ve been looking for you. I SEE you. Soon I will see and know my soulful self as clearly. 

Journey 363: Finding My True North

What perfect timing it has been, to begin again in The Artist’s Way this week. Chapter 8: Recovering a Sense of Strength explores making practical and immediate changes in my current life. I have been encouraged to examine ways in which I have settled for less than I desire in my creative life. 

The perfection is that I traditionally use this final week in December to reflect on and release the past year, as I prepare to embrace the upcoming new year. One of the assignments in Chapter 8 was to put a name to my dream and write it down. 

I did. I wrote, “I am a writer, an author.”

Next Julia instructed me to name one accomplishment that would signal the realization of that dream. On my emotional compass, this would signify true north. 

I wrote, “I want to know that I have created the best writing that I can, and have it published. My true north is to create my best writing for publication.” 


As I am preparing to surrender to next year’s journey, I appreciated this opportunity to become clear on the direction in which I’m heading. 

So what does it mean to find my true north? 

In Bill George’s book, True North, he says, “It’s the internal compass that guides you successfully through life. It is your orienting point – your fixed point in a spinning world – that helps you stay on track. It’s based on what is most important to you, your most cherished values, your passions and motivations and the sources of satisfaction in your life.”

Knowing my true north lets me start exactly where I am, get oriented, and head out, moving in the right direction, using my internal compass as a guide. I can align myself with the Divine, make my desires known, and trust the guidance I receive. 

I continued with the assignment, writing out long and short term accomplishment markers to guide me, now that I had my true north. These actions included sending out a query letter and book proposal and researching submission requirements for several magazines I’d like to submit articles to. 

I recently finished Liz Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, in which she shares her own true north. Toward the end of the book, Liz shares about having fierce trust and doing what you love to do, creatively, because success or failure, it is what you must do. She says do it for you. Not to help or inspire other people. Do this because it helps or inspires you, and then it cannot help but inspire others. 

I am a writer. My creativity has roared back to life as a result of my year of firsts and my year of journeys. My desire to write was at the heart of both adventures. I write because I must. I write for me. I trust that what helps me, in turn helps others. 

As I journey next year, I have my true north and the Divine to guide me. I have fierce trust, and people like Julia Campbell and Liz Gilbert who are shining examples to learn from. I am about to launch out, my heart open, knowing that the flow of life will take me exactly where I need to go, bring me exactly what I require, as I travel with clarity and purpose. It’s going to be another extraordinary year of adventures.