Guest Post by Rocheal Hoffman:
I was using the restroom when it hit me. Turning to my right, I noticed a mirror. Full length, and of all places it could have been sealed to the wall, it was facing the toilet. "Odd," I thought, and "quite inconvenient." Upon looking into this mirror, I noticed the stretch marks on the side of my rear. Ugh. I ran my fingers over the indentations. Lovely. Looking down I noticed that I was in dire need of shaving my legs before hitting the lake this weekend. One more thing to do. My list of rattling things that were gross, annoying or exhausting about my list was growing. I was there to see it...remember the mirror?
This isn’t about toilet time or stretch marks or complaints though. It’s not even about full-length mirrors. It’s about gratitude. Those stretch marks are mine. My body MADE those. I made those at the same time I was building a baby. Hair on my legs? It’s mine. That means if ***I*** wanted to, I could grow it out and french braid it. That public toilet? My rear fit pretty well on it and I’d like to say that I’m thankful it was there. (Because I *really* needed to go.)
On my way to the lake, it was raining. Dang! So much for the jet ski... I was sitting in the back seat of my soon-to-be parents’-in-law golden Honda Pilot. My five-year-old was sitting next to me, fulfilling what I deemed to be a horrible enjoyment of mindless games on these new little pocket gadgets that also make phone calls. I’d handed it to him, and secretly wondered if I’d just destroyed his brain and its ambitions.
The pit bull I snagged from the middle of the road a few years back was in the rear, fogging up the window. Dearest Meat Ball. She eats things that were never meant to be ingested. Things like balloons, belts, collars, bras, candles, cat poop... her snack of choice is panties, and when she pukes all this stuff up, she eats that too. Anyhow, my point was she’s a pain in my butt and her breath stinks. I complained to my son about the smell, but he was electronically shooting angry birds at pigs and stuff and really didn’t care. I silently wondered if my dog would stop her stinky panting if I slip her some delicious panties.
It was at this moment that I remembered I was asked to write a blog. A blog about Seeing Beautiful.
You don’t know me. Even if you do know me, you really don’t. Just like I don’t know you. You don’t know my deepest secrets. The things I’m most ashamed of. You wouldn’t know that I treasure the days I feel great about myself because I don’t feel like those days happen frequently enough. Top secret stuff.
It was at this time that I watched the rain trickle down the golden Honda Pilot’s window. It was like an epiphany. It felt like arms of love around our vehicle. Around me. I looked over at my son and saw him... Really saw him... for who he truly is. A boy. My boy. The one my body stretched out for, to grow a healthy newborn. Oh, that pink squishy thing... And now he’s shooting Angry Birds at oval shaped pigs. It was at this time that 5 short years flashed in front of me. Early nights after nursing him that he would fall asleep while I tried to play with him.... That time he bit my nipple, and I lovingly put him into a dog crate and set it outside in the rain. (Kidding!) I remembered those kisses. The ones that catch your eye. As your faces move back from a smooch, you get a glimpse into each other’s soul. That twinkle, and the immediate smile and unconditional and unexplainable love. It was at this time that I realized I underestimate myself and my son when I consider that damn iPhone has the capacity to ruin my son’s life. I’m a better mom than that, and he’s a deeper soul.
As the windshield wipers whisked the water away, I was brought back to the present. The music. The rain. The panty-munching-panting dog. The present. I think it’s called that for a reason... because it’s a gift. How sweet it was to be witnessing a moment I’ll never have the chance to witness again. It is gratitude that will promise us happiness. A gift you’ll only get to open once. Should I open this present with complaint? I can never take that back. How could I take it for granted? The clouds that are above us will never manifest in this exact way ever again. This weather will never happen again. This moment is just that, and then it’s gone.
You see... *how* to See Beautiful is a skill. Which means we have to practice it. I’ve heard it takes 30 days to make (and break!) a habit. You’ll soon learn to See it’s Beautiful to know that it’s not weird to smile by yourself. Cherish it. See it. Beautify it. Do it, because it’s the best way to live.
You see... If you See positive, See good intentions (instead of harping on side-of-the-leg indentations), See nothing but what you WANT to see, then the world will be what you want it to be. Justify it. To yourself.
You deserve it.
Practice Seeing Beautiful.
In no time at all, it becomes a habit.