I recently read an article in Whole Living called "Through (With) the Looking Glass," where the author, Autumn Whitefield-Madrano, gave up mirrors for a month. When a friend exposed Autumn's automatic reflex to form a selfie-worthy pose called "mirror face" every time she witnessed her reflection, she realized how intense her "obsessive mirror gazing" had become. Clocking her daily habit of assessing her appearance, she tallied mirror-glances into the mid-20s by noon. As a woman, like most women, whose self-image morphs "from day to day, sometimes from minute to minute," Autumn found that stepping away from the looking glass helped her focus more on the actual life in front of her and free herself of the pressure to love her body more.
"Dropping the hypervigilance to all things Me helped refocus my energies. I found myself being more patient with the slow clerk at the grocery store . . . I jaywalked less and read more--actual books, not online news articles that I'd tear through in a flash . . . I did yoga instead of thinking about doing yoga. I faced away from the mirror at the gym but was suddenly doing more reps with the dumbells." ~ Autumn Whitefield-Madrano
Autumn's mirror-free month brought her into the present where she could fully immerse herself in experiences sans self-judgment, while healthfully distracting herself from body criticism.
". . . I can't help thinking that the best way to accept how we look might not be to love our bodies so much as to quit thinking about them all the time. Instead of cheerleading my way to a stable body image, I ignored my way to it." ~ Autumn Whitefield-Madrano
Sometimes we feel the need to heal that which bothers us most, but when we try, it's like free climbing up a wall of smooth marble. When I'm ultra-focused on how fat I feel, how little coin is in the bank or how worried I am about everything in general ~ all my issues grow tentacles that choke out the solutions. What if SelfLove is really just taking it easier, gravitating toward what feels good in the moment, moving away from the things that feel hard for now and deep diving into joy whenever we can? Whether it's ditching mirrors for a month, Social Cleansing or simply making more of a point to do what we love everyday ~ we can soften the pain points in our lives by giving them less attention.
Donnie Brasco had it right. Perhaps the most SelfLoving thing we can do to feel better about ourselves is just, "Fuggedaboutit."