My 2 year old daughter is absolutely in love with herself. I often catch her staring at herself in the mirror with a big smile on her face. She even kisses her reflection sometimes. My mom says my sisters and I were the same around that age. It’s a common sight to see it seems; little kids find their reflection in the mirror fascinating and beautiful.
This got me thinking; when do we stop admiring ourselves in the mirror? At which point in life do we start noticing pimples or thinking our nose is too big for our face or our eyebrows are too thick, instead of seeing all the beauty we once saw?
We are born whole. We are born happy. We are born confident. Somewhere down the line, we start changing our minds and building beliefs around ourselves that are self-constructed and far from the truth (is there an absolute truth anyway?). As kids, we genuinely believe we are invincible. We are filled with pride about our abilities and accomplishments. We go around proudly showing people what we have made, be it a lego tower, a drawing of a flower (that looks nothing like a flower) or a ball we sculpted out of play doh.
This starts changing as we get older. Most of us can’t take a compliment and will often find a counter argument to dismiss it. The response to “This is a beautiful painting “ becomes “Oh, yes, but I could have made it better if I chose different colors” or “I got the idea from someone else, so it’s not really mine”. When complimented on a piece of clothing, we’ll hear women say “this old thing? I’ve had it for years”, or “it would look much better if I lost a few kilos”. We sometimes go as far as dismissing being thanked for helping someone. We underplay our kindness, all the while making ourselves shrink smaller and smaller.
When exactly did we start letting go of our self-love and replacing it with self-doubt? At which point in time did we start dimming the light on what was once a source of glowing brightness?
There’s no shame in loving ourselves. There is no shame in being proud of what we do. There’s no shame in standing tall. It’s time to regain all that is beautiful within us once more.
We owe it to our inner child. Let’s not let them down.