Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – Whose the Harshest of Them All?

I wake up each morning with a similar routine. My alarm goes off at the same time everyday to make espresso. Coffee gets the motor running. A small shot offers just the right amount of caffeine to motivate. It allows me to prepare myself for a new beginning. I walk into the bathroom, look at my reflection in the mirror. I pause and look at her. One morning, I realized just how critical I’d been of the woman in front of me. Wish I could tell you I looked at her and said “You are beautiful. You are priceless. You are amazing just the way you are.” The truth is that I was looking for any imperfection I could find. I asked myself “Why don’t I see my beautiful?”

Who do you see in your mirror? What does your reflection tell you?

Women – Dominican, Puerto Rican, African-American, Asian, European or White have a common denominator. I’m not referring to physical attributes shared by the gender but the insecurities we all possess. Not surprisingly we are our own worst critic. The most beautiful woman can feel flawed. Our standards of beauty are somehow connected to perfection. Most might agree, society’s idea of beautiful is somewhat skewed. Having a daughter forced me to look at this topic closer to ensure my behavior wouldn’t negatively affect her in the future.

Admittedly, there’s no one tougher on me than the woman looking back in the mirror. When I rewind to the day I began my quest for beauty, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was missing. Self-examination and honesty brought me to my truth. We aren’t able to see true beauty until we learn to love ourselves first. I had to embrace all of me which meant accepting who I was as a whole. It was recognizing I was human with mistakes and weaknesses. None of which could strip me of the the person I was inside. Loving myself was the master key unlocking a door to happiness. I realized that beauty isn’t an external vision. It’s not the images in print ads, television, social media and billboards. It’s the smile and joy expressed in a genuine state of well-being. A happiness stemming from within that radiates through to the outside. It all starts with you.

If you work towards acceptance and claim an understanding of who you truly are inside it will be the single most important thing you do. Once you see yourself – frankly and openly then you will appreciate the inner beauty. It will be the moment when your natural beauty will beam through to the world.

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