Be Real: What Do 'You' Look Like?
I know when you look in the mirror, you see your face. There you are – the external portrayal of you. But, what does the inside of you look like and, taking it a step farther, what does your inner world look like.
We’ve probably all been told at one time or another to go to our ‘happy place.’
What do you visualize when you think of your happy place? Do you see an actual place? Or, do you see a person or maybe people? Are you visualizing a moment in time – perhaps a treasured memory? Or are you thinking of an entirely imaginary place?
Take a moment and close your eyes. Place yourself in your own personal happy place. Really take a moment to look around this ‘place.’ What do you see? Are you smiling upon seeing it? What are you feeling? Does your body feel warm or cold while you visualize?
For me, I see hills and trees and beautiful green everywhere. I see blue sky with just a few cotton-ball clouds drifting by. I feel warm. I feel the sun on my face. I’m swinging. The swing is old and hung to large limb on a sturdy oak tree. The sun speckles my face as it filters through the beautiful green leaves.
In my visualization: My body feels healthy. I feel strong. My mind is clear and at ease. I feel safe.
As I start to drift out of the visualization, however, a pressing feeling of sadness comes over me. Tears start to well up in my eyes because I know this is perhaps a visualization of a memory … a memory I can never have again from a place and time that no longer are available to me.
It is the happiest place, but it is also bittersweet. And, that’s OK. It’s there for me to visit, even if I cannot stay.
Can We Visualize the Best Version of Ourselves?
I was recently thinking about how we can visualize in the same way when it comes to ourselves. While we can see what we see in the mirror, that person or face might not be who you see or feel on the inside.
So, this time when I close my eyes, instead of focusing on the place, I try to focus on the person. Who is this person swinging, what do they feel, what goals do they have?
I then visualize what I might look like if I could look like who I truly am inside. Would I look broken? Would I look gray? Would I spring forth into a rainbow shape as I imagine my 5-year-old would?
There are so many things that are inside that just aren’t visible on the outside. I once read that humans are like icebergs – you only see a small percentage of who a person is on the surface. The bulk of who we are living underneath the water – inside our outward facing persona and appearance.
I want you to try to visualize yourself as what you might look like if you looked like your inside bulk. Then I want you to cuddle up to that visualization. Pat him/her/they on the head. Tell him/her/they that it’s going to be OK. You are who you are meant to be. You are getting stronger every day. You are amazing. You are beautiful. You are strong.
Then perhaps, improve upon that visualization. Think about the moments people praised you or you felt your best. Think about the great characteristics that make up the best version of you. Add to yourself. Add those words and feelings that you hope to sometime truly embrace, even if you can't right now.
You are strong.
You are loved.
Take all those great feelings and attributes - the best of, so to speak - and really apply them to your image of yourself. This practice is similar to positive self talk. If we only see the faults and the grayness, then it can be hard for us to see how we are also amazing.
Take some deep breaths. Then go out into the world and portray that best image of yourself.
I love you.