As I looked in the mirror this morning at my 50 year old face, an imperceptible groan escaped me. Startled by my own reaction, I studied the face that stared back at me in the mirror. The litany from that little inner critic began her rant (you know her, right?).
Look at those wrinkles! Where’s your sunscreen? Your eyes look tired and puffy today. You need more sleep. Where’s that satin pillowcase? Oh gosh, your skin is so dry. Put on moisturizer quickly! You need botox. How will you ever turn back time at this rate because it looks like time stomped across your face with Timberland boots! Ugh. Look at you – 50 year old divorced mother – you’ll be alone for sure for the rest of your life!
Have you ever had such a loud, demanding inner critic so early in the morning?
I closed my eyes and tuned the inner critic out. I walked out to the kitchen to get myself a cup of coffee and to try to put her words out of my head. But she was right, my little inner critic. Time marches on and most of us think that there’s only so much we can do about it beyond surgery, botox etc.
But there is something else we can do!
So I went back to the mirror and really looked without hearing my inner critic’s words resounding in my head. What I realized was this:
I own my wrinkles for each represents a time in my life. The crinkles around my eyes are from laughter and smiling. Would I change them? Nope. The dark circles under my eyes, I can change for they are from sleepless nights of worry. I can change the way I fall asleep and let go of worrying and allow my brain and body to rest comfortably. The puffy eyes are from not eating properly which I can change. The forehead furrows are from stress which although I can’t change the past, I can change the future.
I looked and thought, I like my full lips for they haven’t changed. I like my cheekbones and the shape of my face. My new hairdo camouflages a bit of the forehead furrows which is good. The other stuff are just superficial insecurities which I have to live with at this time.
Bottom line, I’m grateful that my eyes twinkle when I smile and are soulful when I’m sad. My emotions play all over my face and you can read me like a book. Would I change those things? Nope.
So yes, time marches on, but at age 50, I may not be your cup of tea and I’m no model, but I am centered, happy, peaceful and kind. As Kim Vogel Sawyer wrote in A Hopeful Heart,
“Looks aren’t everything.
Looks fade, but character remains.”
This time around, I’m looking for someone who sees the inner me with loving eyes and appreciates the outer me as well.
What about you?