Do you see who you wish to see when you look in the mirror?

So, a very simple question to you all …

Suze is in the process of rebuilding and reidentifying who she is after the Cancer and it is proving hard for her .. she is at times quite lost with who she thinks she is and who she wants to be ……. l asked her yesterday in an attempt to try and help her identify with herself ‘Who did she want to be?” “Who does she see when she looks in the mirror?”

She is currently in the process of trying to find clothing that fits, she lost considerable weight with the treatment and also with the loss of her saliva glands which what many might not appreciate or even know is that this makes eating and weight gain hard and also, the radiotherapy treatments did extra damage to her inner throat making some foods impossible to swallow combined with no saliva and her dietary requirements have changed considerably, which when added to trying to put on weight also makes life difficult. This alone knocked her confidence pretty hard and also makes finding clothing that fits a much harder job.

But at her own concession, she is no longer the person she used to be … it wasn’t just the arrival of the cancer diagnosis either, her identity was shifting anyway due to post menopause which had changed her character quite significantly too. Her identity was already being questioned by her back in 2019 after her illness and stay in hospital in August and Suze desperately wanted to change her wardrobe – BUT, well life comes with no guarantee as we have all learned especially over the last 2 years!

Looking in the mirror she said she wasn’t happy with who she saw anymore and so l asked her – who do you wish to see then?

Her answer was mixed – leading to a loss of self-belief and confidence mostly which we are working on. She saw a much older lady than her 60 years who looked lost … l said that only she would know she is lost, because the reflection didn’t display a lost person to me.

Suze and l will continue to work with improving her self belief and confidences though which is where the Thrive study comes into play.

But everyone’s reflection is different, when asked what l saw of me … l answered initially with ‘just a guy’.

Suze asked “Do you see who you wish to see then?”

I answered with l see me, but l am happy with that, l no longer have any expectations and l am no longer placing any expectations on me either … “I see a guy wearing grungy gear that wears glasses.” But if l was to look deeper as only l can into the mirror – do l see me and am l happy with that?

Upon closer inspection and looking even deeper into the reflection in the mirror – l saw two men looking at each other – both were visibly older than they felt despite at times feeling physically older than they are .[At times my mind is still in my thirties – alas my body is in my later fifties just feels like it is much older] ….

I looked at the other as he looked back and l saw that his face has lines – the lines of ageing, tiredness and the usual worries of life, but also what are sometimes known as laughter lines. A man who has seen as much humour as stress and still come out the other end smiling and the lines of wisdom, a life filled with experiences and adventure.

When l looked into the mirror l saw me, my face, myself. I see a man who has walked a long path lined with tunnels and has finally emerged from the darkness as himself – happy and content as can be.

A man looks back from the mirror and that man has seen as many changes in life, moods, styles, identity shifts, stresses, laughter, pain, learnings, teachings, philosophies, people and confusions and much, much more – but above everything else. The two reflections of one mirror have come to terms with accepting who each individual is and both are happy with that – even if someone was wearing grungy gardening gear!

l am happy with who is looking back.

Now, how about you?

Do you see who you wish to see when you look in the mirror?

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48 thoughts on “Do you see who you wish to see when you look in the mirror?

  1. Does it make a difference if you look without your glasses, thereby blurring the edges and lines? That’s what I do.

    I am, and that’s all. I am only more when I help others be. I see history. There is no history in a void, so I am something, someone, more than a dust mote. I am on a path that has come and gone and continues to unfold, and I interact with others as our journeys intersect. I am only what I am at this moment. That’s enough.

  2. I see a woman full of life, living and liberties. 😊😊
    And a message to Suze, get well soon and I hope you find a good yourself and a fighter when you see in the mirror.

  3. I see nothing more than what’s there – I give my reflection no other notice or import than the physical reality of it. If I had to be philosophical about it – I always see smiles in my eyes…and to be egotistical about it – I love that about me – the smiles.

      1. I don’t see the smiles of my life I see the smile in my eyes – it’s a bit self-absorbed to look at yourself in the mirror and see anything more than a physical face. Who you are is not revealed in a mirror. But I’m being literal here aren’t I? And you are not asking a literal question. I think self-awareness should be kept to one’s self.

        1. Because it is SELF-awareness. There is that old writing advice – show, don’t tell. I feel the same about life and people – don’t tell me who you are, show me.

        2. I see where you are coming from. I think too much self awareness can be a bad thing, but l think acknowledging your ‘self’ and being aware of said self is also a good thing as it allows a person to build up their self esteem.

          I think way too often many people choose to not display their self awareness because of conditioning of what is right and or wrong or what is not done because it is a private affair – but l used to be a manager and whilst l agree that l want to see the actions of a person to understand them more in the here and now. People who were aware of themselves and were able to speak about it freely displayed to me their potential for growth and ability to change.

          But of course, everyone is different 🙂

        1. Got you, so is it that you wanted to leave more of a legacy behind or was it purely that you had wishes for more yourself?

          Suze has similar feelings to you, she feels that she has accomplished nothing with her life, choosing to look at all the negatives rather than the positive.

  4. I would rather see someone who who is about 30 years younger and who still had a full head of hair. But the old guy who is staring back at me is who I am and, overall, I’m fine with him.

    1. Hey Fandango, a full head of hair oh l remember those days a ‘shock of hair!’ But the main thing is that it matters not, you are happy with who you are and have become 🙂

    1. Hey Tanya 🙂

      Indeed it is – but like so many questions, l guess it also comes down to a person’s interpretation of themselves and their belief and also their control over their self-esteem.

  5. I had some body image readjusting to do. The weight loss has pretty much leveled off, and it seems that post menopausal me is gonna be scrawny🤷🏼‍♀️ I was used to being curvier and that bothered me for a while.

    I am completely healthy per my Primary doctor and that’s what matters. I’ve adjusted my thinking and everything is a-okay. The wrinkles don’t bother me. Nothing about my appearance bothers me. It is just my body, not who I am.

    I only ever really look at a mirror before I go in public to make sure I’m presentable😂

    1. Good way to be … truth is l hardly look in in the mirror. I occasionally glance at it if l am on my way out, but most times it doesn’t bother me. I don’t have a mirror in my bedroom. There is a bathroom mirror l use to shave with, a mirror besides the downstairs shower which l glance in when getting into the shower and the mirror in the kitchen which Suze was looking into and which sparked the question.

  6. Oy vey this a difficult one for me. The body I see in the mirror makes me sad. the body afflicted with medical issues that mean my weight is not what I want. The body that is way too “fluffy” is not who I feel I am inside. I dislike looking in mirrors. I do so only to make sure I am quasi presentable when I leave the house. Otherwise it matters not.

    The irony is that I love WHO I am more now than at any other time in my life. I am setting healthy boundaries for myself. I am spending time doing things I enjoy whenever I can. I am not working to a clock in any manner for the first time in my life.

    I have given some thought to the possibility of cosmetic medical assistance, but the truth is I don’t see that as a useful way to spend money.

  7. It is what it is and I’d rather be real than plastic. Anyway, beauty is only skin and it’s what inside that matters. Confidence and happiness shine through and I feel once Suze starts feeling better physically, her inner beauty will shine! Sending hugs to Suze and oh, and you too, Rory! You’re very supportive and sincere.

  8. Eerily that’s a question that I’ve been working on with my mental health therapist. For a long time I didn’t see anyone when I looked in the mirror, of course I had a reflection (I’m no vampire despite rumors 😉 ), but WHO that was remained unanswered. It is due to the trauma I’ve gone through over the years and my low selt-esteem and general feeling that I was an ugly person. And when I began to see my mother’s face in my mirror, that freaked me out mightily.

    Sixty is a tough year for anyone, let alone someone facing the challenges that Suze has gone through. I hope she is able to find her identity again, and be happy with who that is. It’s a good character exercise to periodically give ourselves a reality check and see who is in our mirror.

    These days (and it’s only been a short time I could say this), I can say I see a survivor in there, and someone whom I like, even if I don’t love her. I also hope that kindness and compassion is there too, but those take working on every day.

    1. That is an honest answer Melanie – thank you.

      Yes, l also hope that one day Suze can look in the mirror and come to realise that despite what she thinks, she has accomplished more than she knows and is a wonderful person.

  9. I am new to your blog but still I hope Suze can start to appreciate the person she sees in the mirror. That’s a hard one somedays for me as well. Great question. I guess today I was okay with myself but tomorrow might be different. Yesterday, I wasn’t a fan at all. It’s touch and go this week with me and my reflection.

    1. Hey Sarah, well first and foremost – welcome to my blog 🙂

      I will pass your well wishes onto Suze and l thank you.

      I think your comment iand what you say is greatly reflectional for many people – the truth is, we change daily. I agree on that.

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