Sometimes the way we see ourselves all depends on the lighting.
When it's dim, our imperfections are concealed and it's easy to feel confident. But when we step into the bright light, we suddenly become blinded, veiled in insecurity and unable to see goodness in any capacity. Our confidence shrivels in the shadows of dimples and wrinkles and rolls. We cringe. We belittle. We groan.
Which is exactly what happened to me the other day.
My daughter and I put on our coordinating leggings in the safety of my dark closet, the sunlight barely sneaking through the cracks of the closed blinds. I admired the colors, the soft fabric, the snug fit.
Until I stepped into the bright light of the bathroom.
Everything that had gone unnoticed in the closet was suddenly revealed.
I twisted and turned in front of the mirror, evaluating whether or not I could wear these leggings out in public. There was bulging here and puckering there. And frankly, I wondered if my choice of athletic wear was even appropriate for the run we were about to embark on.
But then I saw my daughter's face – her eyes bright, her smile wide – excitement oozing from her entire being.
“We match!” she exclaimed. Followed by a compliment about how pretty I looked.
And right then and there I realized that maybe life's big secret is being able to see ourselves through the light of a child's eyes.
Children aren't afraid of their appearance, nor do they care about our imperfections. Their view is not dependent on the lighting. It does not become distorted by how they think they should look.
They see beauty in everything.
And maybe that's because it's through the eyes of a child where the light of Jesus also shines. Where we are shown how to stop worrying and start appreciating this life we've been given. Where we are shown how to stop hiding in darkness and start living fully in the light. Where we are shown that our imperfections aren't all that important.
It's in this light that I want to start seeing myself. Beautiful despite my flaws. And it's in this light that I hope my daughter always finds herself.