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Who is that looking at me?

Every morning I spend about 10 minutes in front of a mirror: either putting on makeup, brushing my teeth, walking by, critiquing...

And lately I don’t recognize myself.

So who is this woman looking at me? She's got stretch marks without giving birth, she has scars from years of anxious picking, hairs resembling a male face, and her skin isn’t bright and tight.

Is it age? Is it a lack of expensive beauty creams? Is it hate through a lens of perfection? Is it the large number of unrealistic examples of beauty; filters, skinny models, Pinterest perfect blogs?

Whatever it is, it haunts me. Kills my sexual libido, makes my wardrobe irrelevant and evokes disgust within me. A disgust that rips through all aspects of my life, destroys my confidence and joy. I no longer do what I enjoy without panic or mental barriers. Very few days go by now without thinking “you’re not enough for that” “you cannot achieve that goal?” “Who would want you?”.

The solution is easy. Make lifestyle changes, adjust my thoughts and perspective. Take it one step at a time, reward my efforts, accept what is… thing is the struggle is a comfort. It’s what I know. Blah. Blah. Blah. If it was so easy to literally “just do it” it would be done by now. Ah yes, not everything comes easy young grasshopper. I have internal debates using inspirational and encouraging messages on the regular.

The concept of personal growth is forced down our throats all over self-help and improvement books/accounts. The problem is growth doesn’t happen smoothly. We aren’t planted like an annual flower where we grow from a seed, blossom and then die. We are more like trees or pre-annuals. We have seasons of death and loss. We are barren, scarred and empty. Seasons where things look ugly, and when the environment is just right we can grow again.

Could it be that’s who is looking back at me? The skeleton of me without my leaves?

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