I can't help but wonder why we're always trying to reach for whatever is the hardest to attain

I stare at her in the mirror.

Lifeless. A little bleak. No certainty of the future.

She has good intentions - to lose weight, get organized, and find some kind of purpose in life.

That mirror, though, dictates everything she thinks she is. This ever changing reflection fluctuates with the self-esteem of the person in front of it.

And it just gets worse with time.

Blond hair that was once bright and vibrant has turned a dirty dishwater color.

Hazel eyes with laugh lines around them that she doesn’t find funny at all.

Pants size depending on the french fries to stretchy-ness ratio of the material.

And height depending on the angle of the slouch at the time.

She's skinny some days.

Those are the days she stands tall and charges over to that funky jumpsuit with confidence and grace. She walks tall with other beautiful people in society, because the mirror has told her she is good enough to - for today, as least.

Those are the days she can take on the world.

She's fat other days.

She slinks out of that tiny room vowing she'll never eat again but secretly makes her way over to the bakery, because those creme horns just know how to make her feel better.

She doesn’t always see it, but every single day she is beautiful.

Her heart beats underneath that reflection, and from it flows everything she is.

She is a mother who would gladly give her children the shirt off her back, but threatens their lives when they announce they are out of socks on the way out the front door in the morning.  

She is a wife who thanks the Lord daily for a hard-working husband, but then gripes at him for not doing enough around the house.

She is awkward but loving. She is silly but serious. She is broken but grateful.

Yet the mirror doesn’t show any of that.

Funny how we judge our worth on a lifeless reflection. How we shove our self-esteem into a tiny mirrored room, and stuff our bodies into contraptions then spin around to be sure our butts don't look too big or too small.

But that they look just right.

Who decides these things anyway? Was there a butt sizing convention I missed?

A thigh gap ruling that you just gotta have one? Truth is, my thighs have been together pretty much my whole life.

And what God brings together cauliflower pizza crust cannot separate.

Now this doesn’t mean that health isn’t a big deal.

Healthy is the best reflection — both inside and out.

I wanna be that. I need to become that.

We can't make unhealthy the new cool, because our kids need us.

There's nothing good about heart disease or stopping half-way up one flight of stairs to catch your breath. There is nothing wrong with admitting you need help reaching your goals, because that’s where I am right now.

That girl in the mirror knows nothing - she seeks a perfect reflection in a flat representation of what humanity truly is.

Who defined perfect anyway?

My guess is a person who believed they there were perfect.

Perfect, however, has taken on many appearances over the generations.

Way back in the day, fat and pale were totally in because only the well to-do had enough food to eat and didn't have to work outside in the sun.

Now we strive to be skinny and tan, maybe because so many of us work inside and sit at a desk.

I can’t help but wonder why we're always trying to reach for whatever is the hardest to attain.

That’s right.

Girl in the mirror.

Lift your head.

You don't dictate who I am — I dictate who you are.

You are the snapshot. I am the flesh and bone.

You are the reflection. I am the heart.

And today we have reconciled.

No longer enemies, we’ve become one.

The raw. The real. The perfectly imperfect.

And together we are beautiful.