A couple of days ago, I woke up and walked over to the mirror, scanning every inch of my face. My best friend once told me that a woman is most beautiful when she wakes up. This was in high school but the statement has stuck with me ever since.Some days, I find myself screaming ‘she’s right’. Other times, I look at my image and just shrug, knowing very well that it definitely gets better than that. Nevertheless, looking in the mirror, first thing in the morning, has gradually become a routine. A ritual I do with so much dedication and faithfulness. For me, looking into the mirror is not just about standing there, hands idle or busy rubbing my face, staring at my reflection. No! The mirror experience for me involves poses that could get America’s Next Top Model green with envy;-). It involves smiles and self-appreciation. I can already hear you say ‘She’s vain’. Lol, in reality I’m not vain. I’m just one that believes in loving myself to be able to love and appreciate others even more. I wake up every morning and tell myself I’m beautiful before anyone else does. My mirror and I shall be united till the end of time, I guess.
Well, on the said day, I set my feet to the ground, thanked the good Lord for giving me life and cat-walked to the mirror. Picture a tall, slim, dark young woman, still clad in her nightie, hair a complete mess and eyes still drooping with sleep doing the catwalk at 7:30am! My walk is not even perfect but I find so much amusement doing it. So, I get to the mirror, stare at my face and I see it!! Neatly tucked on the bridge of my nose, right between my eyes, was one tiny pimple! I freaked out and almost screamed. One would think it normal for a female my age to have a ‘pimpled‘ face. Now that’s where it all went wrong. Growing up, I was always being complimented on the smoothness of my face. ”Fine girl, no pimple”? That was me 😉 Not a single pimple could be seen on it. My friends wondered how I’d gone through the whole puberty thingy without pimples. Oh well, I take it that was my gift from God. Sometimes, I’d feel less of a teenager around them. They’d discuss sulfuric rubs, healing creams and give tips on how to get rid of the pimples and get a smooth face. I, having no idea what that meant, would just stare at them wishing I could join the discussion. Other times, I’d ignore it altogether and find solace in my novels. Now you understand why I was worried when that pimple appeared. Naturally, I spent the whole day looking at, rubbing and even pinching it. By night-time it had grown bigger and I was already searching the Internet for anything that could get rid of it by the next morning. I didn’t like the idea of going to school with a ‘third eye’ right on my nose. After a cyber encounter with the craziest of chemical names the scientists had ever come up with, I decided to let it go; to ignore it, even though I wasn’t sure I could do that. Lying on my bed, waiting for sleep to drown out my thoughts, I realised I was fretting for nothing.
At that point, I felt guilty and a piece of my soul died a little. I thought of the millions of people who had more serious things to worry about. Problems they never seemed to find solutions to.
That tiny kid, with his ribs sticking out conspicuously through his drawn out skin, because he hasn’t eaten for days
That father who, amidst gun shots, tries to shield his family from danger
That frail mother, walking long distances in search of food and clean water for her family
That young man, seated in a corner, chin in hands, thinking of a future that looks very bleak
That lonely old widow, wishing, hoping and praying for company of any kind
That young lady, my age or even younger, married off against her will
That woman, lying cold, tears flowing down her face, after having a stillbirth
That hunter, out in the forest, searching tirelessly for game, yet finding nothing
That poor farmer, alone in the fields, praying for the heavens to open up and water his crops
That soldier, down on his knees on the battlefield, a bullet buried deep in his chest
The hundreds of people wiped out by a mudslide, an earthquake, a flood
The families mourning the loss of a loved one, never to be seen again
The millions of people, suffering, dying, hoping and praying for a better life
Some losing all faith and wishing their lives could end at that minute.
By the end, I realised my eyes were clouded and I felt a tear drop. I was ashamed of myself. I had spent a whole day sulking because of a pimple. A whole day I could have used to count my many blessings and thank God. A day I could have used to pray for world peace and satisfaction for everyone. Looking around, I realised that I was not alone. Millions of people worry about very insignificant things. Some spend most of their lives complaining and asking God to make life better, even with all the comfort and luxury at their disposal. Nothing is ever enough. If only we could sit for a second and look back at all the gifts we have been blessed with, we would realise there really is little to complain about. Only then shall we be ready to give back to our societies, to help people below us on the social ladder, to appreciate the little wonders that the world comes with.
When you look into your mirror, do you count blessings or pimples? Your response might just change your view of life. Do share your ideas in the comments section. Linguere wishes you a pleasant week 🙂