Poems & Essays

21 Jul

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – Stop Lying to Me!

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“If you are searching for that one person to change your life, look in the mirror.”

The mirror is a liar and a thief. It criticizes. It steals. It makes you doubt. One fleeting glance at it and you stumble, your confidence nose-diving into the abyss of self-hate and disapproval.

“You look ugly!” It yells when you try on a new dress, and you believe it, your dark circles and expanding midriff zooming into focus to fortify the truth of its proclamation. Motherhood does have a way of taking a toll.

“You are a nobody!” It whispers into your ears when you dive heart first into your new passion, and you believe it. No one’s supposed to change directions halfway through the highway of life and not expect a head-on collision. Especially a nobody with zero experience in the field.

“You are the antithesis of feminism.” It declares out of the blue when you settle comfortably into the patriarchal stereotype of a housewife, and you believe it. Your educational qualifications and corporate work record remind you non-stop of your wasted talent and many opportunities at shattering the proverbial glass ceiling.

“Your time of ushering change is long over.” It reminds you when you take a stand in a progressively hopeless world, and you believe it. Revolution does suit the youth better. Where would a non-confrontational mom even begin?

So, the mirror goes on and on and on. And you listen until you can hear it no more. Until it is just some background noise, stuck in an indefinite loop.

Until something inside you snaps.

Then, the next time, it says, “You are ugly,” you say, “Stop lying to me, mirror! I am beautiful. Not despite, but because of, my dark circles and my muffin-top. You see, all the flaws that you keep pointing to remind me of my humanity, of the full life I am living, of creation, and of a passion for doing more and being more than mere body-stats. The body you are berating still holds the memory of the miracle of life.”

And the next time it says, “You are a nobody,” you say, “Thank you. Stop being so contemptuous about it, mirror. Because, honestly, it’s not an insult! It is rather a free pass to start over and to succeed without pressure or performance anxiety. Being an underdog is always so much more fun than being the title defender.”

And the next time it says, “You are the antithesis of feminism,” you say, “You are wrong, my friend. Feminism is about choice, about equality, never more, never less. No one held me at gunpoint to force me into my stereotypical role. I chose knowingly and willingly. Bottomline – I chose. And I am no less or no more for my choices than any other person in the world who exercises free will, irrespective of their gender definitions.”

And the next time it says, “Your time of ushering change is long over,” you simply laugh as you bring your son to the mirror and say, “You are wrong again, my friend. Here, check this out. I am training the future revolution right inside my home. It may seem like the white flag of surrender because the surface is calm, but submarine volcanoes do have a tendency to shock and surprise. You’ll see!”

“Ah, now, you are getting somewhere,” the mirror smiles. “My dear friend, let me tell you this – I am neither a liar, nor a thief. I am a mere reflection. I project what you want to see and the voices you want to hear. I reflect you. I neither add to nor subtract from you. It’s not in my nature to change you.”

And just like that, the mirror on the wall looks different.

The next time you pass the mirror, it seems kinder. It is neither harsh nor critical. It doesn’t say mean things. It doesn’t point out all your shortcomings, physical or otherwise. So you learn to pause and stare at your reflection, though you used to run before.

Over time, your reflection seems different too. Happier, confident, calmer, and less judgmental. Then one day, in the middle of living, you remember the metamorphosis. You smile because you get it at last. You look intently into the eyes staring back at you from the mirror and smile “There you are! Finally, I see you.”

 

Daisy Suman spent more than a decade as a techie in various capacities for a Global Top 10 IT firm before quitting in 2014 to become a SAHM. Though she still enjoys dabbling in code, these days she spends most of her free time reading and writing, and persistently ignoring housework. Her work has appeared on Parent Co., BabyCenter Blog, BonBonBreak, Mamapedia Voices, BlogHer etc. FertileBrains (http://fertilebrains.com) is her online home and you can connect with her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/fertilebrains) and Facebook (https://facebook.com/fertilebrainsdotcom).
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