I saw myself this morning.
I look at myself every morning, in the mirror, clothes off, inspecting all of the flaws. I muster up the courage to say something nice about myself at the time, usually something like “You’re still working, keep it up,” and then go on about my day.
But this morning, I left the flaws alone and looked at what I’ve done. I began to finally see what others have been telling me they see for the last several months. I hear their compliments about the weight I’ve lost and the lean muscle I’ve gained,but always on the edge of my mind is the thought:
“yeah, but you don’t see me with my clothes off.”
Because with my clothes off, I see all of the flaws, all of the fat, everything I’ve been dedicated to get rid of, still clinging to a helpless body.
I don’t know how, but this morning I saw something different. I actually saw the difference between the 34% body fat I’ve carried around all my life and the 20% body fat I’ve worked my ass off to achieve in just one year. I saw the outlines of lean muscles, beautiful examples of what effort looks like. I saw a thinner me for the first time in my life.
A year ago Katy and I were doing some Celestine Prophecy exercises and the subject of improving ourselves came up more than a few times. I consistently answered “increase discipline” to those questions, feeling that that my lack of discipline had hindered my progress on this spiritual path. And up until this morning, I honestly believed I was probably the most undisciplined person I know.
Now I realize this feeling is rooted in the previously undiscovered habit of looking at my flaws. When thinking about discipline what comes to mind are: The days I don’t meditate. The days I take off from physical training. The lessons I learn but don’t fully apply. The time I spend engaged in fruitless activities. The projects I haven’t completed. The writing I never make enough time for.
But I saw myself this morning.
Standing in the mirror was an assload of days I forced myself into the gym. I pictured myself driving through rain and snow storms, making plans around my gym time and outright foregoing activities if they meant I could not get a workout in that day. I saw myself running laps around the baseball diamond up the street from my grandparent’s house the day before, of, and after Thanksgiving. I saw myself cooking healthier meals every day. I saw myself not buying the food that would be detrimental to my intentions, in an effort to make sure it’s not even available to me during my weakest moments. Then I remembered the frozen yogurt I bought about a month ago as a treat to myself, sitting half-touched in the freezer. I remembered the Reeses Cups (my favorite and the most perfect candy of all time) I added to a purchase at a store because I needed an extra $1.50 to the total in order to use an awesome coupon; also in the freezer over 3 weeks later. The days off from alcohol, the stairs I take instead of the elevator, the jokes from guys on the basketball court about my dancing in Zumba class.
And don’t get me started on all of the Spanish I’ve learned over the past 2 years. It’s amazing!
This morning I saw a disciplined man standing in the mirror. Not perfect, and not even close to the level of discipline I hope to achieve. But much further along than I ever would have given myself credit for until today.
So maybe you’re looking at the flaws and forgetting the truth about yourself in some area in your life. Or maybe you’re only seeing the flaws in someone or something else. I encourage you to take a step back and re-evaluate how you are truly showing up in the world and how the world is showing up around you. You may surprise yourself.