Standing cleaning I, caught a glimpse of myself in a small mirror I have just high enough to reach and small enough to fit my head. I use it to put on make up and brush my hair in the morning sometimes.
I had the urge to look away, as if glimpsing yourself unexpectedly is somehow taboo. I stopped myself in that moment and turned. Face to face and looked. First I just looked. Let the insecurities that encouraged me to judge and criticize myself, die away.
Because there was a part of me that knew something stronger. There is a part of me, that is like a root. It is connected to everything and it is deep. When it speaks, I listen because it's my connection to wisdom.
I do not have it in me inherently, I grow it, cultivate it. Seek it. Listen to it. As much as I can. And the more I do it, the more it nestles a space and purrs comfort into my spirit. And that part of me knows the truth, the truth that what we live in matters. Not for how it looks. But how it feels, how it strengthens. How it grows. How it protects.
As I stand there looking in the mirror, I let those, "you look puffy" or "why do you look so tired" comments slip away into the river of other thoughts floating by. That river is so deep. So fast. So full. But the thoughts that sustain are the ones that come from that place, that root are light and strong in a way. Easy to connect to if you feel it trying to connect to you.
I let myself just observe how my face curved in its most relaxed and aware state. I looked into my eyes, not with judgement or fear. I looked at myself like I was trying to connect with myself. I told myself, I was looking to learn. I looked at myself and thought of how grateful I was to have a healthy body. I haven't always been grateful for my body, actually most of my life that was the case. Because of how my body was used, sexually, I hated it. I thought it was disgusting and never right. Always all wrong. Now I have learned to honor the skin I move in, the lungs I breath from, the heart I love from. Every part of me is special. Because I need it. All of it. It is new for me to appreciate the space I grow in. I learn in.
I relaxed. Not noticeably. But my eyes changed. And how I saw things changed. I let myself sit in this new state of awareness, in awe. I looked into myself and remember slightly, just slightly tilting my head. And looking into the reflection, smiling suddenly, I felt like I was looking back at the part of me that I never see but everyone else does. I connected. She trusted me. I trusted me. I felt young and happy. I felt the little bit of childhood I remember before it all turned into charcoal and grey skies. I connected to the bit of sunlight before the storm. And looking back on her, from me. After weathering a lot of storm. I smiled. I embraced my past with my present and my smile deepened. I felt connected to the root. Seeing me, deep.
The relationship you have with yourself is the ground you learn to grow love. I am learning. Little by little. Moment by moment how to grow this relationship. And the journey is full of spontaneous joy and adoration when you let go of who you think you should be or what you should be and embraced your root. Acceptance for who you were, who you are and who you are becoming and love, real love where you show you care about yourself by taking care of yourself, for you. That's what embracing your root looks like. You recognize how special it is that you shield it from harm. Exercising all of your muscles, not just the ones on your body. Growing, in as many ways as you steer yourself toward.