The Bent Mirror

aI’ve been trying hard not to stress about an upcoming competition…

… and so, as I usually do in these situations,

I’ve been playing a kinda mental dodgeball game with certain thoughts / emotions..

— what usually happens when I try to block out anxiety about one thing is that it manifests itself in other ways….

and in particular, I get over-analytical.

A person can say something to me on a average day,
….. and it’ll have absolutely no impact…

but on THESE days,
I ask all kinds of questions about the many variations of what that person could have possibly meant, and the ramifications,

and what it says about them,
and what it says about me,
and what it says about society,

and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah……………………. ad nauseum.

I try hard not to let these kinds of things change the way I see things…
… or relate to them…..

A friend told me something today at the gym that really made me think.

Think hard.

It made me contemplate on how malleable a thing self-image can be.

I know plenty of people who can tell you what they aren’t.

I know plenty of people who can tell you why they’re not good enough.

I know plenty of people who can tell you what’s wrong with themselves.

Did you ever ask yourself who TOLD them this stuff?

And why they chose to believe it?

Could you be answering that no-one told them that their body is not ideal…

or that they’re not smart enough..

or good looking enough…..

or personable enough……

or successful enough………

Well, maybe you’re right…. but…. think about this.

I’m sure you’ve heard about how the Barbie doll’s proportions are so off-kilter that young girls often get the wrong idea about what they should look like when they mature…..

Do you think there might be plenty of other examples like that out there?

Sure….

I think that we all tend to view ourselves,
at least in some ways,
based not from the perspective of our own choices and chosen priorities,
but from the perspective of how others view us.

So, we’re getting a distorted image –
— one that is corrupted not only by our own fears and prejudices,
but those of others as well.

It’s like we’re seeing ourselves in one of those trick mirrors they used to have at the state fair…..

where we look fatter, or weirder, or uglier………..

I guess it sounds obvious enough…. but why?

Shouldn’t our self-image be determined by a comparison of what we are to what we want to be, instead of how others compare us to what they think we should be?

Someone can say something hurtful to us, and set us back emotionally miles and miles….
—  if we let it.

I have this friend (you thought I forgot about her, didn’t you?) at the gym who has a very pretty face, nice body and skin, and a sunny personality.

Well, some idiot in her real-world social life told her the other week that she dressed ‘dowdy’.

Since that time, this lovely, well dressed lady has gone out, bought expensive new clothes, changed her makeup and hair, and has adopted a new ‘attitude’ in which she is trying to project a sophisticated ‘fresh’ persona….

but…………………whose perspective is setting her self-image?

Don’t get me wrong-
— there’s nothing wrong with improving yourself –
—  if you’re the one who decides you need to do it.

But, just taking some mean-spirited creeps’ off handed remark and changing everything around based on that, well, isn’t that worse than no change at all?

Isn’t that really taking a step back?

I mean, the purpose of change is self-improvement, right?

Can there be self-improvement without self-fulfillment? Without Self?

And what is SELF without making choices for you- based on your own interests and priorities.

Making judgements based on what is right for your SELF. Not somebody else’s.

Do you see what I’m getting at?

I think anything’s worth changing – if it’s for you that you’re changing it.

And anything’s worth doing – if YOU want to do it ..
———- not ’cause other so and so thinks you should.

So, am I being over-analytical?

Mebbe so……. but, my friend, please…

…… I’d love to see you live a happy life… and I can’t give you money, or fame, or a big car…..

(……. I don’t have any of that stuff to give, and the truth is, I never wanted it……. )

But I can give you a gift that someone gave me, that’s made a huge difference in my life……..

These simple words……

To thine own self be true!

Oh….
and, “STAY AWAY FROM THE SNACK BAR !!!” 🙂

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7 thoughts on “The Bent Mirror

  1. GrannysPlace says:

    Sending good vibes.

  2. Ramona Ivan says:

    Great post! I don’t compete but am very familiar with weight lifting / body building (sigh…RIP Robert Kennedy and Oxygen Magazine (soon)). Please keep up the great work and posts man! Awesome 🙂

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