I know many compassionate people. They are kind. They are forgiving. They are charitable towards others. And yet, they are mean, vindictive and show no mercy when they assess themselves in the mirror.
I doubt that it will come as a surprise to you that most (but not all) of these people are women. Oops, I should say girls and women. For the syndrome begins with pre-teens and travels the length of time to great-grandmas.
“I’m so FAT!”
“My butt is too big; my boobs are too small; my stomach is huge; my thighs are too wide, my hair is too curly (or straight or thin or thick)!”
Needless to say, the face does not escape a heartless assessment:
“My eyes are droopy; my nose is crooked; my lips are too big. And the wrinkles on my face; they’re awful!”
Is there any part of your body that escapes negative assessment? When I asked Elaine that question, she said, “I do think I have pretty hands. Well, at least I did until they got so wrinkly.” Then Elaine showed me a photograph of herself when she was 30. “Look at me,” she said. “I was really pretty then.”
“Did you think you were pretty at the time,” I asked her. “Sadly, no. I wanted to lose 10 pounds. And I wanted to look like my friend Cary. She had long reddish blond hair and a great smile. I felt I was rather plain looking. But when I look at me now, I see I was wrong.”
“Do you think you might be wrong now,” I asked. “No way,” she responded. “Now I really am fat and unattractive. And if people say otherwise, they’re just trying to be nice.”
Yes, women who are kind and nurturing to others are often extremely mean to themselves as they glare at their “bad” parts. And it doesn’t stop there. For if you hate how you look, it’s hard for you to love yourself. Focus on your faults and flaws, and don’t be surprised if you become anxious and depressed.
So, if this article is speaking to you, it’s time to make a change. Here’s how to begin:
Next time you look in the mirror, remember that you are a compassionate, kind, forgiving person. Hence, you will notice all the good things about your body. When you do, not only will you feel better about your physical self, your mood will be enhanced. Keep doing that and who knows, the mirror just might become your best buddy.