The look on her face was priceless. She was thrilled with the pictures I had taken of her family. She was proud to show them off. She was giddy to get them printed and sent to as many people as she could think of.
But. There was that lingering doubt. The only person she picked apart in all those pictures was herself.
I’ve always wished that others could see themselves as I see them. When I’m looking through the camera lens or just looking through my own eyes, I’d love to show people the little things I see that make them so wonderful to me.
My mom. Her smile is so genuine. I love the way she can’t resist reaching out to touch her grandchildren’s hair as they run by. There’s so much love in her touch.
My brother. The way he arches his eyebrows when something amuses him or reaches up to rub his hand across his face when he’s trying to pull an answer out of his head. These little things make him more approachable when he spends so much time putting on such a tough face to the world.
My boyfriend. I love the way he leans over and kisses the top of my daughter’s head when she hugs him goodbye, the way he pries apart Legos for Noggin and let’s Screech climb all over him like a little spider monkey. The way he can’t resist hugging me if I get within arm’s reach.
My kids. My daughter’s adorable little pouty lip when she doesn’t get her way. Noggin’s way of tilting his head and investigating everything from a different angle. Screech’s excited squeal when he hears that he gets to do something he likes.
All these little things are what make up the whole of the people that I love. Every time I see them, these little things bring me joy. I see them through a lens of love.
Then I look in the mirror. I take that “hard look” at myself. Today I stopped. I looked at my eyes and I saw the stress that taking that hard look at myself was creating. No more. It’s time to look at myself through the same lens of love that I view everyone else through. Why should I look at myself any “harder” than I do the people I love? I don’t look at them looking for faults. Why do I do that to myself? So, today, I’m looking at myself more kindly. No more hard looks.
I want you to look at yourself the way the people who love you see you. Every time you look in the mirror. Every time you look into the lens of a camera, I want you to imagine you’re looking at someone you love deeply with every ounce of your heart. Then I want you to notice how much happier you’ll look to not just everyone else but to yourself as well.