by Arleen M. Kaptur

You can’t escape it - every time you look in a mirror there it is. It may be a pleasurable experience, or it can be a soul-searching, dismal attempt at facing the world. However, you view or react to what you see in a mirror, it is not the final word and it is not written in stone.

It has been said throughout history that the truth of a person is in their face. Life has a way of etching out lines and features that reflect the real person inside. Cosmetics, and other cover-ups won’t disguise the heart and soul from being seen in the eyes of the person, nor in the resulting facial features that are a compilation of what they have done, and what the world has contributed.

What happens if you are delighted each and every time you see your reflection in a mirror? Well, by all means, carry on! However, if you are less than satisfied, and a bit timid about any mirror image, then it’s time to take stock and undo some of the damage.

It is not a case of just removing wrinkles or the lines of time - after all these are character marks and should never be seen as undesirable. Wrinkles and lines are nature’s way of showing others that you have survived the ravages of whatever life threw your way and are more knowledgeable and more experienced than any fledgling without a wrinkle in sight. You have learned to love, care, and hurt. You are a living example of continuing on and crossing over the numerous bridges, valleys and hills that make up a lifetime. You earned each and every wrinkle and line and be proud of it. You know the many sides of sorrow and the brilliance of peace and love. You have met tragedy and misfortune and have somehow overcome it. You are successful in traveling through life and living to tell about it. You are a source of knowledge and wisdom that youth can never have and the pages in your life’s book are filled with examples and stories that only living daily life can provide. You can see through the candy coating and still enjoy the sweetness.

Now what do you do if you are not pleased with the image staring back at you? Is it too late and are you forever stuck with this reflection? Absolutely not - because the one feature that takes prominence in any likeness in that piece of glass is the eyes. They are the mirror to the soul and the door to the heart. If your continence is less than what you want it to be, begin working on improving it immediately. A change of attitude, or way of dealing with people and situations will add a different slant to your eyes. If your heart has hardened, then open it to everything and everyone around you. See others as just traveling companions through this journey called life and know that they too are facing problems and setbacks that only their heart is capable of relating.

Everyone builds up a “front” so to speak. It is the image that we want others to see because we are not exactly proud of who we believe we are. Truthfully, if you take the time to go through everything that your particular life has thrown at you, did you really do so bad? Would someone else have handled things differently? Maybe, but if you did the best you could at that particular moment, then put it on the shelf in your soul that is marked “The Past”. Here is the final resting place for all those endeavors and efforts that were, and will never be again.

Why have a shelf like this at all? Well, there is a lot of knowledge and experience sitting on these shelves. Whether good or bad, they did have a big hand in shaping and molding the person you are. Face them, thank them for their input, and walk away.

Your prime concern should be that bright, sparkly shelf called the present. It is so clean and new and there is not a mark on it. Dust never gathers here and hope keeps it in perfect condition. Here is where major changes take place, and destiny awaits. Challenges will always be there, but insight and inspiration are willing to help. Imagination has a major role and character reigns supreme.

Change can occur and the shape and scope of it is entirely up to you. You are alone when you stand at the door of your heart and no one else has the privilege of changing anything here. They may have influence and input, but can never actually make the change. Only the heart will challenge the soul and both will be reflected in the eyes. Start with the heart, and see the difference in the soul. Amazement will be your delight when you look into the mirror each morning and see the clearness, brightness and beauty start shining through. The face looking back at you will be delighted with life and be glad to have the pleasure of knowing you.

So stand tall and proud, change what you can, work at it daily, and don’t ever be afraid of looking in that mirror again. Courage and determination are holding the paint brushes and the colors are yours to choose. ENJOY !

©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 June 1

About the Author:
Arleen Kaptur has written numerous articles, how-to-books, cookbooks, and the novel:
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