Seeing Yourself Through the Eyes of Love

dove-real-beauty-sketches

The Lie of Self-Criticism…and the Truth of Self-Love

Have you ever seen the Dove Soap commercials where a police artist sketches women based on verbal descriptions?

The artist (who doesn’t see the women) makes two sets of drawings: the first set is based on each woman describing herself; the second set is based on other women’s descriptions of them. The differences are staggering: The drawings based on others’ descriptions show beautiful women, while the drawings based on self-descriptions are ugly—almost deformed—with every so-called flaw grotesquely magnified.

This experiment illustrates (quite literally!) the extent to which many people suffer from poor self-image—an issue that can affect their confidence, their choice of career and mates, their happiness and emotional well-being (or lack thereof), and nearly every aspect of their lives.

More Than Skin Deep

These pictures merely touch upon the surface of this issue (again, quite literally). The aspects of self-perception that can’t be drawn run much deeper. How many people are walking around thinking that they’re ugly on the inside—that they’re stupid or hopelessly untalented or just plain bad?

It’s detrimental enough to think that you’re not good looking, but what if you think you’re not a good person—can you imagine the implications of that? Can you imagine thinking that there’s not merely something wrong with your eyes or your nose, but something wrong with you—with who you are as a human being?

The implications become even more disheartening when you consider that self-perception is generally a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that you’re ugly (on the inside or outside), stupid, bad, or worthless—that you’re somehow “less than”—your experiences will reflect these beliefs. You’ll settle for less, because it’s what you think you’re worth. You’ll tolerate treatment that’s a far cry from the love you deserve. You’ll deprive the world—and yourself—of the beautiful gifts you might have shared…if only you’d had the self-esteem to believe in your inherent value, goodness, and beauty.

Poor self-image definitely doesn’t serve you or the world at large. It doesn’t allow you to reach your full potential, to let your radiant self shine, and to feel good. But that’s only half the problem with it. The more immediately striking part about poor self-image—the part that’s so clearly shown by the Dove commercial’s pictures—is this:

It’s simply not accurate!

The women’s self-critical perception is enormously skewed. It’s not the truth of who they are.  It’s not even close.

It’s a lie!

The picture of yourself as ugly (in any sense) isn’t an accurate reflection of who you truly are. It simply doesn’t stand up to the light of a reality check. The truth of who you are is NOT the image presented when you see yourself through a lens of self-criticism. The truth of who you are is the person seen through the eyes of Love.

Seen through the eyes of Love, you are beautiful—inside and out!

This isn’t just esteem-boosting positive thinking—this is accurate! It’s not seeing yourself through rose-colored glasses; it’s seeing yourself as you truly are.

This is reality. This is the truth. You ARE beautiful—inside and out!

Think back to the police sketch artist: His job isn’t to create works of art, to show the women (or “suspects”) in the most flattering light, or to boost people’s self-esteem. No, he’s merely trying to create an accurate depiction of someone based on verbal descriptions. And descriptions that focus on perceived flaws don’t lead to accurate sketches—they lead to distorted pictures that bear little or no resemblance to the actual people.

Because these self-critical perceptions simply aren’t true.

So, on top of all the benefits of a loving self-perception, perhaps the biggest reason to see yourself through the eyes of Love is because they see you for who you truly are: beautiful, good, and infinitely worthy of love.

P.S. If you’d like to practice seeing yourself through the eyes of Love, check out my new ecourse, Celebrating You! It’s a self-paced course, but throughout the month of May, we’ll be taking it together and discussing it in the Soulful Life Sanctuary — where it’s FREE to all members!

The course includes 4 weekly workbooks, 8 videos, 2 audio meditations, 3 bonus articles, and dozens of uplifting games—all designed to help you see yourself as the beautiful, worthy, and loving person you truly are!

Click here to learn more about Celebrating You.

Click here to learn more about the Soulful Life Sanctuary — where you’ll have access to Celebrating You, all my other courses, and lots more! Membership starts at just $19.95!

Hope to see you at your party! :)

Smoke ’em if ya got ’em!

When my dad was in basic training for the army, every time they’d take a break, someone would yell out: Smoke ’em if ya got ’em!

(This was in the early 1950s, when it was assumed that the only reason someone wouldn’t smoke during a short break was because they’d run out of cigarettes!)

At the end of the 15 minutes (or however long the break lasted), it was back to basic training. The window of opportunity for cigarettes was officially closed, whether or not you’d smoked.

Although I’ve never been a smoker and definitely don’t encourage the habit, this line does make a […] Continue Reading…

Your Biggest Addiction

Unless I know you fairly well, I don’t know what addictions you do or don’t have. I don’t know if you smoke, drink to excess, gamble compulsively, binge eat junk food, or bite your nails.

I also don’t know if you have any positive addictions (or, if that feels too much like an oxymoron, we can just call them good habits). You might meditate every day, exercise, drink green smoothies, or do anything else on a regular basis that helps you feel better — and that, if you were to stop suddenly, would make you go through withdrawal (or at least feel […] Continue Reading…

How Do You Solve the South Pole?

As ludicrous as it might sound, what if your friend told you that they wanted to “solve” the South Pole? (And no, they weren’t talking about global warming — and no, they’re not a penguin.) Imagine the ridiculous conversation you might have:

Friend: I’ve got a big problem: Every year I go to the South Pole, and I always get really cold — even if I bundle up in the warmest clothes I have.

You: Well, then just don’t go there!

Friend: But that doesn’t solve the problem! That’s just avoidance!

You: Exactly! I think that you should avoid going to the South Pole! Maybe instead, […] Continue Reading…

Getting out of the Mental Mud

The biggest change in my life over the past few months is that now, unlike before, when I realize I’ve made a wrong turn, I don’t keep driving down that road!

I’m not talking about literal wrong turns (although it’s true for those as well).
I’m not talking about figurative wrong turns — actions that lead you someplace where you didn’t want to go. (I’ve already written a post about that — and what to do when it happens.)
I’m talking about mental “wrong turns” — thought patterns that take you off your intended path…perhaps even into an inner “ditch.”

It’s not a big deal to have unintended thoughts. In […] Continue Reading…

What’s Your Word of the Year? (Here’s Mine)

For the past few years I’ve practiced my own personal New Year’s tradition:

On January 1, I pick a word for the year and write it on my bathroom mirror — where it stays for the next 365 days.

I write the word in bold, blue Sharpie and position it so that whenever I look in the mirror, I see it just above my head (or, if I’m standing with particularly good posture, as if it’s written directly on my forehead).

Each time I see the word, it reinforces its meaning, its power, and its role in my life — so I’m careful to choose a word that […] Continue Reading…

New Year’s Manifestations (NOT Resolutions!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope that you had a wonderful end to 2014 and a happy New Year’s celebration — and that 2015 is already starting off great for you!
So, it’s that time of year again: time to turn over a new calendar page, turn over a new leaf, and make your New Year’s resolutions.
(Or not.)
When you think of New Year’s resolutions, do you think, “Yay!” — or do you think, “Ugh!”. Or do you start off thinking, “Yay!” (in January) and end up thinking “Ugh!” (by February, if not sooner).
If you’ve ever gotten excited about a New Year’s resolution — […] Continue Reading…

Be Like a Kid on Christmas Morning

Here’s something you can probably imagine, even if you don’t celebrate Christmas or have kids…

Think of a kid on Christmas morning — before they open presents…or even see them.

How do you think they feel? Bored? Excited? Or do they not feel much of anything at all until they actually open their presents?

Most likely, they’re bouncing off the walls with excitement from the minute they wake up! (That is, if they managed to sleep at all!)

They don’t wait until they actually see their presents until they feel excited. They don’t wait until they open them. They don’t wait until they […] Continue Reading…

You WILL Find What You’re Looking For

(In several posts I’ve been tempted to simply write a sentence or two — or even just leave it blank except for the title. This is probably the closest I’ve come to actually doing this, but I decided that, rather than explain or elaborate, I’d simply offer some examples to reinforce the title’s point…)

If you’re looking for reasons to feel good, you’ll find them.
If you’re looking for reasons to feel bad, you’ll find them.
If you’re looking for reasons why your life is great, you’ll find them.
If you’re looking for reasons why your life is terrible, you’ll find them.
If you’re […] Continue Reading…

But That’s What Really Happened!

When I started looking into creative-writing programs, I got a book called The Creative Writing MFA Handbook.

It’s a guide for people applying to MFA (Master of Fine Arts) programs, covering everything from choosing the best-fitting school and submitting your application, to making the most of the experience once you get there — especially during the workshops, which are at the heart of most writing programs.

The author’s #1 piece of advice for being workshopped (i.e., having your piece critiqued by fellow students) is: Don’t get defensive!

Aside from not criticizing readers’ feedback (which harbors ill will and stifles honest discussion), he also discourages […] Continue Reading…