What do you see when you look in the mirror?

An image of hope, maybe eyes tinged with fear?

When I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror,

I’m often surprised at what tends to appear.

The image reflected looks nothing like me,

At least not the me that I want you to see.

The angles are sharp and the features jut out,

The eyes appear tired and full of self-doubt.

Hair that once shone is now showing the wear,

Of numerous struggles  I’ve forced it to bear.

I feel like an outsider just looking in,

At somebody else who is fragile and thin.

While I know who I am and that inside I’m strong,

This foreign reflection I feel proves me wrong.

The kicker it seems is I couldn’t care less,

how others might look or how others might dress.

Yet I always assume that I’m judged by my size,

by my clothes that don’t fit and the size of my thighs.

Even if inside I know I don’t care,

what somebody thinks of my body or hair,

Part of me wants them to see me as more,

as someone with talents and thoughts to explore.

If I never caught sight of the external me,

of this physical presence I’ve since come to be,

Would I do more with friends and not doubt their intent,

or wonder again what that last comment meant?

If this image stayed hidden and out of my sight,

would I think I should stay home for not looking right?

Of course, there’s that small part of me that is vain,

that wants a real ass and toned legs back again.

Who doesn’t like compliments on how they look,

when others take notice of steps that you took?

But the image reflected and what causes pain,

has nothing to do with ideals to obtain.

It’s not about pleasing the eyes of some guys,

or having somebody approve of my size.

Despite what is thought it has never been that,

I’ve never seen myself as pudgy or fat.

If I could dig out of this hole that I’ve created,

and drop all these habits I’ve long since berated,

I feel like my outside could match what’s within,

a spirit that’s light and not one who’s just thin.

I’m confident things will get better some day,

but my actions speak louder than words that I say.

Each day I try but some days I slip back,

turning to exercise, skipping a snack.

We all have our habits and vices to break,

smoking or drinking or risks that we take.

Things that we hope will distract us appeal,

more than things that we know we just don’t want to feel.  

There’s much more to everyone else than the look,

reflected in mirrors or in pictures they took.

I just want my outside to match what’s inside,

a sense of contentment, occasional pride.

A strong ear that hears and does actually care,

shoulders that help hold the burdens you share.

Sarcastic yet willing to give you my heart,

(But often reluctant to show off that part.)

The scars will prove how many battles I’ve owned,

not just with myself but with all that life’s thrown. 

What do you see when you see me today,

A girl who’s too skinny and wasting away?

Or someone who might just be dealing with more,

than she lets on each day or just hopes you ignore?

It’s not about looks or how things may appear,

as we open the page on another new year,

My goal for the year is the same that it’s been,

each hour and day all through 2010.

Deal with the struggles I face every day,

with courage and strength that I will be okay.

Reflect on the things that can bring me a smile,

a talk with a friend or just writing awhile.

The simplest things make me happy—that’s clear,

and I wish that for others this upcoming year. 

But I also reflect on my health and that look,

that I saw in the mirror with each glance that I took.

I want my reflections to match up at last,

not feeling regret for the time that has passed.

So when I catch a glimpse of myself  here next year,

I want to be proud of what person appears.

The image reflected will still look like me,

But this time the me that I want you to see.

This time the me that I know I can be.

13 responses to “Reflections

  1. Wow, what a “reflection!”

    Wishing you a happy, healthy new year!

  2. You can do it, Abby. This year, it will be different. And this year, is the year I’m dragging you down to meet up with me and Eden.

    Be prepared.

  3. I love this poem Abby, almost as much as I love you. We are all works in progress. Thankfully a new year brings so much hope and it feels like a clean slate to me. Changes are not necessary, but having the intent that you want to love yourself and your life more is the way to go. I want to be proud of who I am for the right reasons, but for my physique and all the qualifiers that come with numbers.
    I genuinely hope that we keep in touch this coming year!! You have been a great friend.

  4. Wow.
    Abby this is so heartfelt and true and raw. No sarcasm to hide behind in this one. I applaud your courage.It is a LOOOOOONG stairway to heaven but every second of time is a new beginning and a new step to take UP. You are on your way!

    Sending love and peace your way.

  5. Oh my goodness Abby.. I’m speechless.
    This is a beautiful poem. Not only do I absolutely love the way it’s written, I love how clearly you were able to articulate yourself.

    Perhaps that’s why blogging friends seem so much ‘friendlier’ to us at times – Even though we’ve seen pictures, we are mostly dealing with each other’s insides rather than outsides 🙂

    I wish you all the best in this upcoming year. You have no idea how your words have influenced me over this past one!

  6. Beautifully said Abby. Haven’t commented in a while, but I certainly have been reading. Again, you take the words from my mouth 🙂 This is your year!!

  7. Sometimes, I wonder if my comments are worth anything because we have ESP between us or something. But reflections can be deceiving. I dont think your insides and outsides are all that mismatched. We all have stuff to work on, but I dont think your that far. I hate to be cliche, but be the change you want for yourself. If you dont want something to change, dont bother because you are beautiful on the inside and outside now. Or at least thats the reflection I get.

  8. Kath (Eating for Living)

    This is so honest! And I can relate to many things you wrote (again). Particularly, it reminded me of a situation in therapy when I told how much I feel imprisoned by my disordered routines, and how I felt how much body was a physical reflection of this cage, because in every part of it was a reflection of that cage: my mind being a battlefield of thoughts, my throat being tight, my stomach being upset, my arms and legs being restless or exhausted. There wasn’t a place in my body that felt well. My therapist suggested I should try to establish a place in my body where I could be and feel well, regardless of anything else that was taking place, and plant a little light there. (I sensed inside of myself and said this place was where my heart is because that part is the least affected.) Then I should try to make this light bigger and bigger and rediscover my body from there.

    The central idea behind this is that the person you want to be is already there, within yourself. Maybe it’s still small and just awaking from a long sleep, but it’s there, and waits for unfolding. It also means focusing more on the positive aspects of healing instead of the negative aspects of fighting. This works for me, although I’m not finished, and it also takes some time. Maybe a year or to. But you can do it! If I could, you can, too! You can be like you want to be because there’s always a part of you that’s free from all struggles – otherwise you wouldn’t be able to reflect upon it and write about it. I hope that 2011 will be the year of unfolding your self for you! 🙂

  9. What a beautiful poem written by a beautiful lady.

  10. O_O

    I’m wide-eyed, speechless and incredibly moved.
    This is so beautiful – this really hits home for me and the strength amidst your issues is astounding.

  11. Just discovered your blog. What a fabulous poem; it truly resonates with me.

    • I’m always surprised when people go back and find this poem, but I’m also so happy they do. If you can relate in any way, it made it worth my while to post. Thank you for stopping by!

  12. Such a great poem. So glad you shared it as one of your favorites on Studio 30+. I’ve read tons of your stuff and never stumbled upon this one.

    Courageous and beautiful.

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