Learning self-acceptance through mirror work

When you look at yourself in the mirror, what is it that you see?

Do you immediately begin to criticise yourself? Is your eye drawn to some unwanted spots or a mole, or maybe your dislike your nose, eyebrows or forehead? Or hopefully you admire the way you look and give yourself a compliment?

It’s easy to be drawn into the negative when we see ourselves, to immediately go to the areas that we perceive as less than perfect. Yet, how we view ourselves effects how others perceive us as well. If we see ourselves as the wonderful, magnificent people that we are, then others will respond and treat us this way. When we see the faults, then sadly others will pick up on sense our insecurity we hold about ourselves.

Mirror exercise: Accepting love

Stand in front of your mirror and look into your eyes and notice how you feel. What are your thoughts and feelings when doing this?

When you are ready, tell yourself ‘I love and accept you.’ If this is too difficult you can use the words, ‘I’m willing to love and accept you.’

When we find it difficult to love and accept ourselves as we are, we also find it difficult to be accepted and loved by others. We may place harsh conditions upon ourselves, such as I’ll never be happy until I lose this weight or no one will ever love me because I’m ugly. Our criticism towards our physical appearance is often an extension of the criticism of how we feel about ourselves in general. If this sounds familiar, be sure to read Overcoming and dealing with self-criticism.

Daily practice

It’s easy to begin to give yourself the love and acceptance that you deserve, each day through mirror work. When you a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, pause and say something nice! It could be about your appearance or anything else that you find amazing about who you are.

Accepting and loving yourself is very powerful. When you practice this daily, it’s become easier to be more gentle with yourself. To give encouragement rather than putting yourself down, to achieve more from feeling positive. And in return, others will reflect back to you the love and acceptance that you feel towards yourself.

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