How To Love Who You See In The Mirror

By on July 1, 2012

By Claire Vorster –

‘Sincerity means that the appearance and the reality are exactly the same.Oswald Chambers, a teacher of rare insight and expression whose work only became widely known after his death at the age of 43

Do you ever wish that you were better appreciated? There are days when I have wished that a troupe of plumed white horses would arrive at my door, bearing a carriage and a message from the King,

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‘The King has noticed the humble work that you undertake without complaint (well, much complaint) and He is well pleased with you. Carry on!’

At which point I would attempt a curtsey (humble of course) and would keep calm and carry on, safe in the knowledge that I had been noticed, applauded. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting people to notice our efforts or say nice rather than nasty things about us but I wonder, how much of what we do is motivated by the need for that appreciation or approval?

What if we go one step further and live our lives, making important choices based on what we want people to think about us? The need for approval can drive all sorts of decisions – how we behave in the presence of a disapproving parent or manipulative friend, the type of books we read, the holidays we take, the car or phone we choose to buy, even the after school activities that we enroll our kids in. Image can end up being everything. An advertisers dream full of must haves and should do’s.

It can be hard for us to accept that there is much greater peace in living honestly, as we are, finding contentment in the life that we are given and in refusing to play the mind games that wait for us every day. And if appearance and reality become the same, surely there is less chance for conflict and stress? If a river tries to flow both ways, it is no longer a river but a whirlpool, sucking endless amounts of energy round one way and then the other, stuck, expending fresh life that could otherwise have been given to exploring new pathways.

If you want proof of just how much energy keeping up appearances can take how about this:

“The worldwide cosmetics and perfume industry currently generates an estimated annual turnover of US$170 billion (according to Eurostaf – May 2007)” Wikipedia

On a recent PBS Television Special, Harold Kushner summed this up,

“Tomorrow morning, if every woman in America woke up feeling good about her appearance, the American economy would collapse. Whole industries are built on the notion that women are afraid they will not be lovable unless they measure up to some standard of perfection.”

While I don’t think we are likely to put down our mascara or refuse to shave our legs, how about this? The next time you look in the mirror, why not do so kindly? You do not have to be your own worst enemy, neither do you or I need to worry endlessly about what people think of us. We are loved. Endlessly, entirely, everlastingly loved.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31 v3, NIV

And here’s an old prayer which is always a blessing:

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, superficial relationships, so that you will live deep within your heart.

And may God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done.

 

Claire writes to encourage, motivate and to restore hope. If you need inspiration, or you are facing trouble, fearing tomorrow, alone or at a loss, her blog is for you. It will help you right where you are and encourage you to believe that miracles truly never cease. Claire also specializes in persuasive, motivational writing for clients as diverse as Compassion US, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Promise Keepers, the University of London and Microsoft.

About Claire Vorster

Claire writes to encourage, motivate and to restore hope. If you need inspiration, or you are facing trouble, fearing tomorrow, alone or at a loss, her blog (www.clairesteaparty.com) is for you. It will help you right where you are and encourage you to believe that miracles truly never cease. Claire also specializes in persuasive, motivational writing for clients as diverse as Compassion US, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Promise Keepers, the University of London and Microsoft.

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How To Love Who You See In The Mirror