In the past few years medicine and psychology have begun to recognize the fact that some people see themselves as if they are looking into a fun house mirror.  Most of us in Western society have been taught to be critical about our physicality and over the past 50 years or so to seek an unhealthy form of perfection that is almost impossible to achieve.  We therefore look at ourselves through a mirror that is slanted to make us find fault and dissatisfaction.  However there are those among us who are now being diagnosed as dysmorphic.  This means that their vision of themselves is so warped that they actually see what isn’t there.  They see imperfection where there is none, fat where there is very little spare anything including muscle, and ugliness when they have come close to achieving the cultural version of perfection.

But the warped mirror doesn’t just reflect our physical selves. We are taught that satisfaction, gratitude, and happiness lead to laziness and complacency.  We are taught that to achieve anything worth having we must be dissatisfied with what we have and strive for something greater.  Buy the next new electronic widget, get this seasons fashions, lease the newest car, get this for you kids so they won’t be behind the curve, etc, etc.  The vision of who we are to be and how we are to act is warped to fit consumerist values and political aims.  Valuing who you are and what you do is egotistical and selfish.  And for some facing the fact that nothing you do will ever achieve any goal as there will always be another goal causes them to stop trying to do anything.

So what can be done?  Well, stop looking in a warped mirror.  Stop looking at a piece of glass made by someone else to see who you are.  We are social beings and as much as we need to trust and rely on ourselves we also need to rely on each other.  Look around you and see that each of us is a mirror for the other.  Don’t judge, but really look.  Look at the beauty in the imperfections.  Look at the effort being expended and see the good intentions behind it, even if the effort fails.  Look at all that can be learned from failing and perhaps you will begin to see that failing doesn’t make someone a failure.  Not trying certainly can, but that’s another matter.

Put down the warped mirror that reflects back assumed faults and flaws.  Go out into the world and see what there is to see.  The mirrors you find there might just reflect back the real you.  And that will be a wonder to behold.