It was just another morning. Nothing outstanding. I was in my mid-50’s, if that counts for anything.
I don’t remember anything of the day. Yet, I made a huge leap in understanding how to “do all the things” we are told “we should” be doing in order “to be happy”.
It was still morning and I went upstairs to wash up. Usually I don’t really look at myself in the mirror. I am happy with my face and I focus on taking care of my skin. I am committed to aging without intervention.
This day, this regular not outstanding in any way day, I looked at myself in the mirror.
Really looked at myself.
What looked back at me was scary.
If I was the type to run around and scream about my body image (which I am not), this would have been a time when I would have flipped out!
I saw an angry, frazzled, fiercely unhappily lined face.
My face reflected a life spent pushing heavy rocks uphill.
Another way of putting it, my face had the expression of a life spent angry about being constipated, yet all the time was on the toilet.
WTF??? Was I really that unhappy? Is that what I was going to do to myself and my skin????? Where is the truth between how I think I feel about my life and how I really feel about my life????????? The existential angst poured out of me and back at the mirror.
I had no idea what to do. I went for the “opposite” because I had no idea what else to do. Oh, I wrote that already.
I had no idea what to do and I felt HORRIBLE looking at THAT face, MY FACE!!!
So I smiled. Just to see what that looked like, because I sure didn’t feel like smiling.
I immediately could see the happy lines in my face. I could see the sparkle in my eyes. What was reflected back looked MUCH BETTER. Especially the lines.
Then I relaxed my face.
Again, scary constipated woman who lives on the toilet TRYING all the time…Deep wrinkles all over my face.
Smoother skin. Happy wrinkles. Lit up eyes.
And I felt better inside, too.
What did I do?
I committed myself to focusing my attention, my thoughts on OBSERVING what my face was doing.
When I observed my face not smiling, I smiled.