In my past destructive years I experienced a lot of hurt and shame. It was equally divided between being self-inflection and the hurtful actions of others. During this time I formed a habit of covering up the pain with my bandage – alcohol and drugs. It numbed the aches and pains for a time but when reality returned, the bandage slipped off again and exposed the wound of hurt.
This well-formed habit of using and abusing myself went on for years. I didn’t know a way out. Each day it was a challenge to keep doing even simple things. But, I would push ahead and do what I was taught; get up, get ready and go out and make the best of the day ahead. A good hot shower would wash the current shame down the drain but the mirror never lied. Mirror, mirror on the wall, why can’t I look at myself at all?
Self-hatred for the many things I had done and the terrible acts carried out on me. My eyes would never look directly at me. The person I saw in the mirror was dirty and unforgiveable. This habit of not looking at myself lasted for years. Only glancing briefly to assure things were in place and my look was minimally acceptable. Never once taking more than a second to get the task done.
Once recovery had entered my world and my mind was cleared from the fog of substance abuse I was presented with many suggestions to improve my life. It was proposed to me that one way I could better myself was to start loving me. The mirror issue had to be addressed. I needed to look myself in the eye.
I had let God in my life and asked for His forgiveness. I had begun to read the Bible and how God had forgiven me. One of the verses I like is Psalm 103:12 Living Bible (TLB) He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west. God’s words were penetrating my heart. He had forgiven me and I was starting to believe it. I was forgiving others, but could not forgive myself.
Loving women coming along side me on this path of life and suggested I begin to work on forgiving myself. One task recommended to me was each morning I look at myself in the mirror. Eye to eye and see ME. To see what God sees. To begin loving ME. To be okay being the ME God intended ME to BE.
It took years of practice and the tender love of God to come to the place I am today. I can look at me and be okay today. Pushing through the uncomfortable glare of pain and shame to a holding stare of goodness and love.
Mirror, mirror on the wall who is this woman staring back at me now? It is the one God made to share with ALL.