The day my heart literally broke into one million pieces is etched into my memory forever.
I was briskly walking past my daughter, who was 6 at the time, when I saw her look at her own reflection in the tall full body mirror that’s in our living room.
I’m familiar with the look she’s giving herself.
I stop swiftly and back up two steps. I continue watching her. She pokes at her legs and frowns. My heart sinks. I could see the ache in her eyes. I step in to see what was bothering her so much.
“What’s up, girl?”
She turned and looked at me with wide eyes and a matter of fact look on her face and blurts out, “I’m fat, Mom!”
My heart shattered. I could feel the tears starting to well up in my eyes. As I tried to push them back, I asked her why she felt that way. Her response made me even more weak than I had felt 2 seconds before, “I want to be skinny. I want my legs to be skinny.” I was truly at a loss for words. I stood still for what seemed like 10 years, but finally gained my composure and strength.
I lowered my body into a squat so I could look right into her little blue eyes.
“You are perfect the way Jesus made you and those legs are so strong! They will help you master that handstand you’re working on. Those are the legs that will help you achieve your aerial, girlfriend!”
She stared at me with wide eyes as if to say, “Really?” She looked into the mirror one last time and smiled, then she gave me a huge hug and skipped her way down the hall to her room.
As I stood there watching her entire confidence inflate to her natural buoyant level, my mind began racing with thoughts of how my 6 year old, baby girl, could feel so unloved.
How could she see herself as anything but perfect? Have I done something to make her feel this way? Is she seeing me do this? Is she seeing me disappointingly look at my body in the mirror.
Of course she is. Of course she sees all the things I thought she was missing. It hit me and almost brought me to my knees: She was copying all of things I assumed she wasn’t seeing!
This was two years ago. Let me tell you what I’ve done since then!
Since then, I have looked into that mirror and smiled at my reflection. Sometimes it has felt a little hypocritical. Sometimes it has been hard. But mostly it has made me grateful. Grateful for how this body is carrying me through this gorgeous and grace filled life.
I have been very intentional about openly loving myself and being more accepting to the body that might be a little softer than it was 10 years ago.
Most importantly, I have made friends with the mirror! I put on clothes and make sure I compliment myself with eyes of appreciation and love.
Ya see, my daughter’s words broke my heart that day, but since then it has become the support for a more loving affair with our bodies. She no longer sees her single most meaningful female influencer shame her body!
Sisters, I want to tell you, just like I tell my daughter, that you are beautiful! Your legs are beautiful! You’re stomach is perfect just the way it is. Don’t suck it in or poke at it when you look in the mirror.
Look into that mirror with fierce eyes and know how amazing the human body is and how amazing the body God gave you is! You are enough! Actually, you are MORE THAN enough, you are strong and you are capable!