When I Look In the Mirror

When I look in the mirror I see a girl who has been through the ups and down of life. One who has experienced death, betrayal. Here is what I would say to myself If I were talking to you.

I saw my reflection in the glass screen of my cellphone and, I was overwhelmed by what I saw. I didn’t see the beauty and lifestyle blogger displayed on my Instagram feed and on social media. Truth be told; I felt like a fake. Like you shouldn’t take beauty advice from me. I saw tired and puffy eyes that showcased a few extra fine lines and wrinkles.¬† A week of pain. Loss. Sickness. An emotional fight with the one I’ve committed my life to. Marriage can be hard and beautiful at the same time. Panic attacks. Deep soul crying. Questions. Confusion. Taking care of my kids. Answering all the hard questions that my daughters had inside them. The sad emotions of death that triggered the memories of my miscarriage for them.¬† So many questions. Taking care of others. Trying to take care of me. All of it.

I’ve always looked at my face; I’ve had to. I take pictures of myself for a living. Not because I’m a narcissict…but because I love to show you makeup tips and tutorials and ways for women to feel more self-confident. But, with the heart of taking care of others, have I made the time to take care of me and my self-view and my self-reflection?

It used to annoy me when women would say, “my fine lines and wrinkles tell a story”, and now, at almost 36, I get that. There are some fine lines and wrinkles that Botox will never be able to fix. As I sat in my bathtub last night and could hardly catch my breath, I wiped away a million hot tears. I tugged at my skin with my hands. I tried to be gentle. I tried to take deep breaths.

If I were talking to me like I talk to you. Here is what I would say.

Sweet girl,

What you see in the mirror, when the makeup is all gone, when your hair is tied up in a hot mess, when your teeth aren’t brushed yet and you have worn yoga pants for an entire week, is the definition of real-raw-beauty. Get close to your reflection and see your authentic self. Trace the lines around your eyes, the furrows between your brows, and thank them for being there. Because, despite every setback, panic attack, a season of depression, betrayal, loss of friendship, death, fighting, sleepless nights in motherhood, moving, miscarriage, and trauma, you have made the choice to keep-on-going.

Do you see you? The brave one. The one who kept standing back up? The one who loved even still. The one who pressed in and showed up? The one who has loved her friends and family?

Stop your negative self-talk. Do you hear me? Do you really hear me? You were made on purpose and for a purpose. You were made with the strength to offer strength to others. You were made with compassion to offer compassion to others. You were made with wisdom to offer others wisdom. You were made as YOU to bring YOU to the world around you. Fine lines, wrinkles, saggy skin, stretch marks, and all that come with life and time.

No, you are not 20 anymore. You are wiser. Stronger. Braver. More Resilient. You are more who you were created to be because of your story that has been created and crafted over time with all the ups and downs that life has brought your way.

So, when you look in the mirror and when you see your reflection. See you. The real you. Daughter of God. Cherished and loved. The “you” with the makeup off that is beautiful and lovely and every bit as much worthy as the girl you post up on social media every day.

Love those fine lines and wrinkles, dark circles, tired eyes…and more. They tell a story.

Real life vs. Instagram. Here is what I think when I look in the mirror. When I see my reflection and see the fine lines and wrinkles starting to appear.

xo,

Kendra

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