Looking in the Mirror and Seeing Past the Reflection

September 7, 2021


On this show...we’re making eye contact and exploring deeper as we look in the mirror to see past the reflection. Maybe you have all the confidence a person can exude, top of your game, celebrating you in your own skin. But chances are, as tough as you present yourself to be, there are times when weakness wins and self-doubt and criticism creep in. Some of the strongest people you may think you know are dealing with self-esteem issues that at times are crippling. Following the mottos “never let them see your sweat” and “always put your best foot forward”, these struggles can be private and lonely. Suffering in silence and desperately seeking self-love. Today, we’re coming clean, being honest with ourselves, and showing a bit of vulnerability. Today, we are going deeper and looking for more.

This can be a heavy subject, I mean, self-love is kind of complicated. To some it may sound like this eutopia or mirage; something we should all be striving for but secretly know we’ll never get there. It can also feel like a blanket statement…” you need to love yourself”. What does that really mean? Not to be too practical but goal setting is only successful if you can create goals that are meaningful to you, are something you are truly interested in pursuing, and have some level of attainability. Shouldn’t self-love be the same? 

Maybe we need to get more specific. In order to do that, we need to see where our hangups lie. Pushing against that idea you either love or hate yourself, maybe it’s more granular than that. You love certain aspects, aren’t fond of others, and downright loathe a few. 

Dr. Shainna Ali gets us started with an important perspective - What Self-Love Isn’t - Four concepts that you're confusing with self-love. Found at psycologytoday.com

Exerts from the content:
To help clarify, let’s be clear on what self-love is not.

  • Entitlement
  • Selfishness
  • Sinful
  • An Excuse

Sometimes we get self-love and self-care intertwined to the point that we confuse a long bubble bath and a pedicure with mental health and happiness. More pedi’s fewer pity parties. Don’t get me wrong, a good soak for your feet or your whole self is not a bad thing and does lead to relaxation and a warm happy feeling but remember, we are looking past the reflection and going deeper. There is more that makes up this recipe of natural self-love...the love of yourself, mind, body, and spirit. The unique characteristics that make you, you. Your special gifts, points of view, and deep-seated morals. 

Not as easy as it sounds but anything worth having is going to take some effort.

Independent.ie  echos this same sentiment in their article: Love thyself: Practising self-love isn't as easy as it sounds

Exerts from the content:

Louise Hay, author of the best-selling You Can Heal Your Life, and founder of publishing company Hay House, died at age 90 years old.

As one of the most prominent figures in the self-development movement, Hay wrote dozens of books and dispensed plenty of wisdom, yet her philosophy almost always came back to the transformative power of self-love. As she said herself: "I found that there is only one thing that heals every problem, and that is: to love yourself."

I just started growing a garden. I know, I know, I’m a little late to the game. I’ve always had a self-proclaimed black thumb, realizing air plants don’t in fact eat air, they still need water to survive. Who knew?? At any rate, I’m excited by this newfound adventure of growing my own healthy and organic food! 

A packet of seeds is where it all starts. Each little individual seed is planted in the earth. Spaced out with room to grow. From here it takes nature cooperating, ie sun, rain, and descent temps. But it also takes me filling in the gaps. Noticing when they are dry, attracting bugs, getting overshadowed by weeds, or plucked up by a bunny. Most importantly….patience. Some will pop through the soil faster than others, some will be hearty, and some will take more time and care. Some will yield produce and some won’t make it. How will I adjust my process to produce a better outcome next time? 

At this point….you’re ready to move into problem-solving mode right? What can we do to cultivate more love for ourselves? Nurture our seeds to produce a healthy crop. Well,  remember the garden and patience? 

First, Tara Well explains What the Mirror Can Teach You About Yourself: Advice from a Mirror Gazing Expert found out mindful.org

Exerts from the content:

Mirrors can evoke strong feelings in us – and they can also be incredibly powerful tools for changing our perspective and seeing parts of ourselves that are usually hidden as we look out into the world.

Instead of searching outside myself for people, places, and things that would distract me from negative emotions or self-criticism, I used the mirror to face myself and ground myself by simply looking into my own eyes with compassion. I found the mirror was a great way to work out my emotions, too. 

Ok, Tara...I for one am going to take this challenge! It truly is a challenge for me. There are so many things I appreciate about myself. My laugh (as obnoxious as it may sound to others) it’s genuine and comes from the heart. I love that I find a lot of things humorous, including myself! I like my smile for some of the same reasons. I smile a lot because I’m engaged and intrigued or amused. I’m curious and enjoy connecting and encouraging - all these things bring out my smile which is a window to my soul. I love my curious mind, the way it cares, observes, problem-solves, and prompts my body to take action. It lights up when I can brainstorm, especially with others!

I like my courage and the fact that I’m bold. I approach everything I do with the mindset that I DO have the ability it takes to succeed. I’m not afraid to try and fail and I appreciate that my failures provide motivation instead of crushing my bold spirit. 

I’m tough on myself when it comes to my body and my lack of motivation to push it harder. I am a firm believer that if you want something to happen you make it happen instead of willing it to do so YET each morning I stare at myself with harsh judgment and shame. I brought three beautiful souls into this world but instead of celebrating that miracle when I look at myself, I only see what happened as a result. Shallow? Well sure...normal? You betcha. 

Darlene Lancer bails us out with 7 Ways to Cultivate Self-Love found at psycentral.com

  • Exerts from the content:
  • Self-Acceptance
  • Self-forgiveness
  • Self-Appreciation
  • Loving Actions
  • Practicing Gratitude
  • Self-Love Visualizations


  1. All too often we seek love from others, before looking within.
  2. . A critical component in self-love is recognizing your limits, needs, and worth, and asserting intrapersonal and interpersonal boundaries as needed to uphold them.
  3. "I found that there is only one thing that heals every problem, and that is: to love yourself."
  4. Remember, radical self-love isn't a bumper sticker or a fridge magnet saying. It's a paradigm shift that is as challenging as it is rewarding.
  5. patience, care, mindfulness, modification, and commitment are all necessary and can be applied to all mile markers on your journey.
  6. kinder self-awareness is the key to breaking free from the inner critic and the external world that stokes our fears and anxieties that we are never safe, never good enough, and never have enough.
  7. We are all born innocent and worthy of love.
  8. Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
  9. Self-acceptance is greater than self-esteem, and self-acceptance paves the way for self-love
  10. fulfilling our needs and wants is an act of self-love that lifts our spirits. It’s a key to happiness that calms and revitalizes us. 

CHALLENGE: Ready your soil by taking time to cultivate self-love. Plant your seeds; wants, needs, and desires firmly with a commitment to make yourself a priority. Enjoy your harvest, a true reflection of your soul. 


I Know YOU Can Do It!

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App