Look in the mirror, see your beauty

By Alice Inoue Posted in: Go Ask AliceImprove

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I have mirrors in my home that make it feel spacious and I love the effect. The problem is that I feel unattractive because I gained a lot of weight recently, so now I cringe inwardly when I see a glimpse of myself. What do you suggest I do?

The way I see it, you have two options. One is to take down the mirrors, energetically reduce the spacious feel of your home and let the negative thoughts about your body rule your life. Or two, do some “inner feng shui” work, using this as an opportunity to move to a new awareness about how you look. Of course, I suggest that you choose the second option!

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Accepting ourselves as beautiful is hard

Many of us, even men, have a hard time feeling good when we stray from the physical ideal we have in our minds, but women especially have a hard time accepting themselves and seeing their true beauty, obsessing about how they look.

Judgment of self

We are so critical of ourselves because we believe that beauty gives us the right to be loved and accepted. In reality, our appearance has nothing to do with our worthiness, yet we learn otherwise from the media, our friends and family.

It’s all in the mind

Our perception of beauty and how it relates to us physically is skewed by unrealistic images in the media. We buy into the perfect look, whatever that is, and measure our self-worth from that vantage point. We examine every perceived flaw, every deviation from the perfect specimen — too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too hairy, not hairy enough and so on — until we no longer see our true beauty. This negates the qualities that really count like kindness, humor, generosity, compassion, loyalty and integrity — characteristics that transform our outer appearance, which is why others may see us differently from the “perfect” media image.

Inner feng shui

Let’s change your perception of self, so that you can keep those mirrors up. By doing the following exercise, you can create new, neural pathways to help balance your perception.

Answer the following questions daily:

Who praises you and shows you love, befriends you, and cares about you, even though you do not look the way you want to?

Who do you love, admire and respect, even though that person does not fit the classic mold for beauty?

Do you know someone who is physically beautiful, yet you would in no way switch places with that individual, because of the things you see in his/her personality that are a “turn off?”

Move toward the truth of who you are

These “inner feng shui” exercises will help you create a belief system centered on who you truly are. We all have perceived flaws, but we can view them through the eyes of self-love, embracing our own uniqueness.

Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happiness U. Send questions to alice@yourhappinessu.com.