I looked at myself in the mirror. My body was short, very wide, and I had a huge head. My movements looked strange and contorted. No matter which way I turned, the view didn't get any better.
From every direction I looked weird. Not how I thought I would and should.
I was looking though a “funny mirror”.
Once I figured that out, I started enjoying myself. I made funny moves and funny faces. Every move was exaggerated by the mirror's distortion. When I squatted down, my head got even bigger. It looked like a blown-up balloon.
My friend Ruth got in on the act, too. We sang, posed, moved our hands and danced. Enjoying the silliness that a distorted view of ourselves could bring.
When it was just a mirror, it was easy to tell that our view was distorted. We could see it clearly starting back at us. It was a game. And it was funny.
When our perception of ourselves becomes distorted in real life, it isn't so easy to tell. It isn't so fun.
How often do we take lies for truth? Lies that say
- You don't matter
- You're not enough
- You can't change
- You're an imposter
- You'll never succeed
When times like this come, it helps to have words of truth to counteract the lies. Words and phrases you have repeated when you're not under attack. Like exercising a muscle so it has the strength to fight.
I had my own “funny mirror” attack not long ago. I came home from work feeling as though I didn't matter – that what I did didn't matter. I felt invisible. I took time to talk to myself, which helped some. I gave myself a break from evening work to deal with the emotions and spent time cleaning my kitchen and cooking. Something about the ritual of cooking healthy food brought back a sense of order. Rightness.
But what really made the difference was encouragement from my friends. First in reminding me that I'm not alone. That this is part of the human condition – standing in front of a funny mirror and believing in the distorted view of ourselves.
My friends also affirmed and encouraged me. They reminded me of my worth. To them. To God.
My friends reminded me of other ways I could help myself. Playing with an animal, going for a walk, singing, and dancing. I knew, but forgot in the heat of the moment. In the midst of my funk.
I'm glad I reached out to my friends that day. Together we gave voice to something not often talked about. I was reminded of some timeless truths. I took a walk that night with renewed vision and a lighter step.
If you suffer from “distortion syndrome”, speak truth to combat it. The truth does indeed set you free. And reach out to your loved ones. So often they can help us see truth that we miss.
You can be a truth-bearer for others, too. You can encourage and appreciate people every day. Notice what they do and comment on it. Take time to appreciate them. They may be experiencing distortion syndrome and could use help to see more clearly.
You can also help when they do reach out. Speak the truth Into their lives like my friends did in mine. A few simple words can make a huge difference. You never know.
The truth will set you free.
Please share this post with your friends by clicking on one of the social media buttons. Help each other see without distortion. And then visit a funny mirror and have a few laughs.
As always, comments are welcome below.