I'm going to ask you to do something for me. Go to the nearest mirror. Look into it. Look past the dark circles, the frizzy hair, the yet-to-be-waxed mustache.
Okay, maybe that’s just me.
But seriously. Look past all that. Now look past the labels – whether they’re the ones you give yourself, or the ones given to you by others. Woman (or man). Mom (or Dad… you get the idea). Homemaker. Mormon. Cook. Athlete. Tall. Short. Fat. Big-boned. Skinny. Emotional. Bossy. Faithful. Hurt. Selfish. Courageous. Grieving. Tender. Vulnerable.
Break through every last layer.
Now what do you see?
I’m going to take a rare break from my usual writing (aka: snarkasm) and go out on a limb here, because there are some things… some things that I want to say. Maybe things that need to be said. And this is the only way I know how to say them so that someone will hear. And if it changes something for that one someone, then it will have been worth saying.
We are all here, in this world, inexplicably attached to that reflection we see in the mirror. There’s no getting around it. We look how we look. We are what we are. We are born with what we are born with, and nothing more.
But we have this incredible capacity to take all of that “stuff” that makes us who we are and bend it, flex it, stretch it, build it, and otherwise make it even more incredible than it already is.
YOU. You have that power.
I could be a great many things. I could be a painter, a mountain climber, a stripper, or a whale watcher. Those things are within my reach. What is not within my reach: being a Beyoncé, a Miley Cyrus, an Oprah Winfrey, or a Thomas S. Monson… because I am not those people. And that’s okay.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that none of us will ever see someone else’s reflection when we look in the mirror. It will always be you. But there is so much perfection, so much wonder and beauty and peace and focus in that. And it’s a shame that it’s so hard to accept the face, the body, the heart, and the mind that stare back at us every morning.
It frustrates me (although I sometimes do it myself) to see people who spend so much of their time waiting. People wait for more money, for smaller hips, for a good man, or for happiness. Some of them look, half-heartedly, but in all the wrong places. Others sit around in their pajamas all day with their eyes glazed over as they stare at the screen of a device that shows them pictures of the things they wish were theirs.
And to those people I say:
And to those people I say:
GET OFF YOUR BUMS, YOU FOOLS.
Stop complaining about what you didn’t have, what you don’t have now, what you will never have, or how you’ve-been-screwed-over-so-many-times-by-so-many-people-and-how-dare-they-ruin-your-life? That's no way to live.
Get out of the house. Go places. Experience things. Try new foods. Get a new hobby. Make new friends. Step out of the miniscule box you have been living in and spread your fabulous wings.
But do it with this in mind: what you do and who you choose to associate with are what you will become. If you want better, you have to act better. You have to work hard to become your best you.
And some days, your best you really will need to sit around in pajamas and stare at a screen all day. I’ve been there. I get it. But don’t let yourself be defined by those days. Find your purpose. Start becoming the person you want to be.
You have the power to find potential within yourself. You have the power to make yourself who you want to be. You can take the very most basic pieces of who you are and become your own, personal best.
I am not an expert in anything. I am flawed. And I am not the prettiest, the healthiest, the smartest, or most caring or most generous person in the world. But I am me. And I know the me I want to become.
You are not your labels. You are not your marital status, your religion, or your relationships. You are YOU. Think about it every time you make a decision. The minute you stop acting based on the labels and start thinking critically for yourself is the minute you start to truly become your best self.
And just think – Oprah has made billions on that idea.