Trying to Look Perfect

How freeing it is
to be able to see
my own pettiness,
insecurities, vanity –
helping me forgive
others their egos
in uncovering my own,
helping me let go
of the burden
of trying to look perfect.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Here’s the link to the podcast.


So here’s a kind of cool thing: I was in a restaurant, heading for the restroom, and I saw this friendly-looking gray-haired lady – plump, but healthy-looking and pretty in an open, cheerful way – and I thought, “I like her!” and I could tell she was just about to smile at me, so I smiled – and she smiled at the exact same time – and I realized I was looking in a mirror!

This was really eye-opening to me. In my own head I have this image of how I think I appear to others that… well, it doesn’t match with the confident, happy woman I saw looking back at me in the mirror. It was cool to get a chance to see how I would see myself if I was looking at me from someone else’s perspective.

And this experience was cool, too, because I can remember another time – back when I was a university student – when I saw a slender young woman looking at me from a window – and she was pretty in the traditional way, but she looked harried and preoccupied and a little cranky, and she didn’t look like someone who was going to smile back at me – and I realized I was looking at myself.

I’d rather be the gray-haired woman I saw in the mirror today than the pretty young woman I saw in the window forty years ago.

Love, Help Me to Be

My biggest challenge right now is myself. I guess that’s always my biggest challenge, isn’t it? Stay kind, Karen. Stay true. Keep loving. Look for ways to bring humor to those in desperate need of a good laugh. Don’t hate. Never hate. Be wise – but don’t be cynical. Be discerning – but don’t be cruel.

Love, help me be what you need me to be.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

(Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)