Looking beyond the flaws...

Here is my usual bedtime ritual:

I brush my teeth, I may or may not floss, I wash my face with cetaphil, and I remove my contacts. I lean forward closer and closer to the mirror (because I'm blind without my contacts) and then, turning my head slowly from one side to the other, I examine my face for any little zit, flaw, red mark, etc. I may pick at a scab on my chin, pluck a few stray hairs from between my eyebrows, and squeeze a white head or two. I turn out the bathroom light, close the door, and head to bed.

Last night, somewhere between clawing at that scab on my chin and and prodding my face with my fingers in search of zits, I paused for a moment. I realized that although I was looking at myself, I wasn't really looking at myself. I was looking my flaws, each and every one of them.

I saw the big red mark on my chin, I saw the annoying scar on my cheek, I saw the peach fuzz, the stray hairs and the crooked teeth. What I wasn't seeing was me. The big picture. Beautiful, lovely, me.

So many times we focus on the flaws. We focus on the zit, the scab, the scar, the extra 5 pounds, the stretch mark, the wrinkle. Likewise, we focus on the one thing during the day that didn't go our way; the flat tire, the menstrual cramps, the broken dish, the stain on the carpet, the gossiping neighbor, the messy kid, the argument, the leaky pipe, the empty bank account, or the bad grade.

I am guilty of turning out that bathroom light without ever seeing the big picture. I pick at all my flaws and I don't bother to step back and really look at myself. I don't bother to see the the dusting of freckles across the bridge of my cute button nose, or the way my eyes crinkle up when I smile. I'm guilty of sometimes ending my day in a bad mood, laying in bed reliving each annoying experience while simultaneously laying right there beside the greatest blessing in my life, Brett. I am guilty of often forgetting that those little flaws in my days, as annoying as frustrating as they can be, can't even compare to the wonderful people and experiences that enrich my life daily.

Tonight, during your bedtime ritual, take some time away from scrutinizing the flaws of your face and the low points of your day.

Don't forget to look at the whole you: wonderful, beautiful, lovely you.


Heather said...

Loved your post!

Holly McAllister said...

If I could get back some of the time I spent fussing over my hair, skin, makeup, or worrying about my figure I would do a redo and spend a little bit more time just focusing on "being". And when you are older (and not necessarily wiser) you look at youth and realize how THAT is just lovely in and of itself. You younger people are beautiful without even trying. I loved your post Haley. Once again - I learn so much from our wonderful relationship. With Love - Your Mom