When I look in the mirror, do I see what others see when they see me? Often I'm told that I have my mother's smile and that I look like her, yet I don't see that resemblance. I'm glad that others do, because she has a nice smile that radiates warmth, in spite of her shy nature.
As a young teen, a beautician once asked me if I put bleach (hydrogen peroxide) on my hair. Some girls were doing that to their hair in the 50's to become blonds. I'd spent the summer picking strawberries and beans and hadn't worn a hat. Silly me! Being under the hot summer sun all those months turned my hair dry and blond. Brown was my natural color of hair. My hair darken with the years, but never became almost black like my Mother's hair as she aged. When I look in the mirror now, I see more grey hairs on my head than my Mother did at my age, or for that matter than my Mother has now when she is within a year of turning 100. There is something to be said about genetics. One of her sisters turned completely grey headed in her 30's. As I have aged, my hair has gone from being wavy in childhood and as a teen to having more definite curls in adulthood. Now I see curls on the crown of my head that show a degree of obstinance much to my chagrin. The Woody Woodpecker look isn't one to which I aspire. From the photos I've seen of Mom, she seems to have had much curler hair all through her life.
Where once I had a front tooth which had been chipped due to a mishap while playing catch with my brother sometime in my childhood, I now see instead a fine looking tooth thanks to a skilled dentist. I'd lived with that broken tooth until we had a child attending college.
Sometimes I think a lot goes unnoticed when we look in the mirror. For instance, it wasn't until a went through of period of my life where I needed physical therapy, that I really took notice of my posture. A mirror helps one to really see. You may feel you are standing correctly, but the mirror shows you the truth, if you will take the time to notice. As I look down over the rest of my body, I'm reminded of my changing shape and that it isn't what it once was, but that is okay, and somewhat expected as one ages.
I'm thankful I am able to see, and do not have to rely on others to comb my air, or to pick lint off my clothes, apply just the right amount of makeup, and brush on a little mascara so that one can tell that my now lightening lashes really do exist.
More age spots, some wrinkles, or smile lines as I prefer to think, reunions of skin gathering under my chin, and some occasional blushing across my nose and cheeks seem to be taking up residence. This is normal for my age group. Although there are so many procedures that are available now to make one's skin look so much younger, I'm sure these would be deemed medically unnecessary by Medicare. Even if Medicare covered some of these procedures, I wouldn't indulge.
When I look in the mirror, I cannot see that which others see while looking at me or conversing with me. When we speak with others, we see expressions, or the sparkle in their eyes that light up their faces. It is hard to obtain that while looking at one's self, I think. When is the last time you've had a real conversation with yourself while looking in the mirror? That person in the mirror cannot talk unless you are talking saying the exact same thing at the exact same time. This is not a conversation. We are unable to see our the reality of our outward selves in a mirror, but a video being taken of us, if we weren't aware it was being taken, would be more revealing. More natural expressions and actions would be shown. Genuinely smiling at myself isn't an easy thing to do.
When I look at people, I look into their eyes. Without even a word being spoken, the eyes reveal so much.
This special lady, now deceased, and one of her great grandsons, enjoyed life and brought laughter to many. Even though she had to wear the glasses the day the photograph was taken, I know exactly how her eyes looked. She hated to see herself in a mirror and in a photograph. Unfortunately, she never was able to see the beautiful person others saw in her.
May you see the real you and know that you have a purpose and are loved.