“Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning, and you’ll start to see a difference in your life.” -Yoko Ono

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and smiled at what you saw? We are so critical of ourselves and allowing an negative inner monologue to control how we function. We look in that mirror and we see the hair out of place, the wrinkles, the beard gone wild, we see too skinny or too fat, too weak, not enough this or too much of that. Why is that? Why aren’t we automatically grinning because of the things we love? I have no answer.

Here’s what I do know:

What happens when you look in the face of a stranger? You smile. And in return, they smile. This is because they see the same messy hair, crazy beard, wrinkles, skinny/fat and whatever. But they smile because they have them all too. We need to learn to appreciate what makes us unique. We need to plant the seeds that our individual appearance, the things about us that we may not love right now, these things are our visible strengths.

My wild eyes, pointy cowlick, wrinkles, rolls and chicken legs make me approachable. People can look at me and say “she’s not perfect but she’s real.” Do I love these things about myself? Not yet. But I’m learning to make the effort. I’m practicing looking in the mirror and smiling at myself like a movie star walking the red carpet.

Every day is our day to shine, not for others but for ourselves. Our uniqueness makes us human, real and powerful as we bring hope, love and change. Smile in the mirror. You’re worth it.

Sarah Deats

Sarah Deats is the Arizona Outpatient Support Services Manager at RI International and the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer. Her goals are to make a connection with everyone that she can while building community, spreading hope, and sparking change. She believes that while life may not be easy, it is never lived alone.