I am not 100% sure what it is that I see in my minds eye when I think of myself. I’m probably about 16 if I’m being honest, with different snap shots of myself blurred on top of it….
This internal perception of myself I know is off. Here’s why I know this to be a f.a.c.t. I will sometime do a double take of others’ pictures and wonder if that’s a picture of myself. Upon closer inspection, I realize that the picture is not of me and actually emphasizes one of the areas of my personal appearance that I dislike – acne, weight, posture, bad teeth, etc.
I did that just the other day. I was on a Facebook page and they had a collage of members, I saw a picture of someone with glasses and crooked teeth. The first thing I thought was, “Where did that picture of me come from and WHY is it on some random Facebook page?!”
It wasn’t me, it was a nice picture of one of the page admins and their child. I was so worried someone would see my crooked smile, I completely missed the child in the photo.
Here’s the real kicker. I haven’t had a crooked smile in almost ten years. However, the self-conscious 16 year old that lives in my mind is still stuck on that aspect of her appearance. I am sure I have been doing these double takes my whole life, but it wasn’t until recently that I actively started to notice what I was doing.
How do you heal that?! Is it simply a matter of recognizing it so that way it will disappear? I’m not sure, so this is what I did:
1. I told myself that it wasn’t me and it was OK that I thought it was, I am safe.
2. I told that admin that she was beautiful (via my amazing mind powers) and applauded her courage to smile.
3. I reminded myself again that it was OK for me to smile now and as a 16 year old girl.
4. I smiled. Like, really smiled at the amazing way my mind works to bring me to awareness.
5. I took a drink of coffee, loved on my cat, and moved on.
I think that is a pretty good place to start.