I challenged myself a simple task, NOT to look at mirrors for 5 days. Not so simple, mirrors are everywhere:
~ Car Rearview, Side View & Windows
~ Cell Phone Reflection
~ Store Windows & Doors
~ Yoga Studios & Gyms
~ Endless Places of Reflection…
I covered all the mirrors in my apartment although anytime in public I would ‘cheat’ for a split second without even noticing – check my face while washing my hands, look at my hair while getting into my car, and admiring my profile while walking by car windows in a grocery store parking lot.
So, I really wasn’t able to groom my face and I became this burly, scruffy man for about a week. My interaction with people became different – I made direct eye contact because I was self conscious, I didn’t want them checking out my face for so-called imperfections: pimple villages, nose hairs flaring out like vines, or crud on my teeth (thank you U11 girls soccer team for pointing out spinach remnants). This was a positive blessing in disguise – I made other people the focal point by eye-locking them like Top Gun Maverick. They become the center of ‘my’ universe, I was way interested in what they were saying and I felt connection – soul talking to soul, not my looks talking to their looks.
No access to mirrors led to less identification and more substance for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some cleanliness – just realized lately looks were becoming a larger part of my identity. This is how I grew up, Darren Star the producer of Beverly Hills 90210 and Sex and the City was a graduate of my high school. I look back now and have so much compassion for the girls who walked our halls – it was a fashion, body, and attitude contest.
People will say things will never change – this is society and looks are important…go live in a hippie commune, a cave, or choose the radical option of ‘I don’t care’ – choosing this choice can be considered weird, although again you are upholding some identity…maybe there is something beyond society and words – what if you forgot the concept of SELF? What if for just thirty seconds I could convince you that you don’t exist? Ask yourself when you were born, who gave you identity, who would you be without a name, what if you never believed a word of the ego?
Humans are pulled to connection, it’s wired in our DNA, it’s where SELF is lost and this is when I feel most alive. I have spent months alone to figure nothing will ever trump the choice of love – no matter how cliché that sounds, I always come back and ask: was l loving to myself, others and the environment in this moment – even when situations/people are toxic, I accept the reality and then take action with love. I am less attached to this SELF I’ve been protecting for years, what in the world am I protecting? Nobody will remember my body when I die, I’ve been to many funerals and I remember the way people made me feel and treated me in life. It’s never too late – live a life with love…print out your favorite quote, make your own, and tape it to your bathroom mirror – directly over where your face is center stage, read it every morning – memorize it, or use below…
“Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find ‘tomorrow’ on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday’s defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. Take the baton, now. Run with it! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” ~ Og Mandino