What Fall Funhouse Mirrors Reflect About Self-Image

Posted by Kaley Thompson Tis’ the season for pumpkin carving, hayrides and fall celebrations. Around this time each year my town would set up a festival. The best attraction according to my face painted, cotton candy consuming 10-year-old self would have been the funhouse. The moment you stepped inside, lights started flashing as you bumped straight into a distorted mirror image of yourself. If you stood on your tiptoes your head became longer and lumpy. If you squatted, your legs looked like wiggled spaghetti. My friends and I would stand there astounded, laughing at our altered images.

But as an adult, we don’t laugh. We take what we see of ourselves very seriously. And we don’t need distorted mirrors because we’ve often morphed the image ourselves.

When we have funhouse mirror reflections of our lives how do we restore our outlook on who we really are? 1. See Your Soul

About 24 million people have an eating disorder making body image one of the most common things we have morphed views about. We look in the mirror and see our skin, not our souls. We view advertisements displaying 'perfect' models and not real, beautifully broken people. So it’s easy to believe we are defined by what we look like and not who we are.

Don’t buy into the lie that your value is skin deep. Song of Solomon says, “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” There is no flaw where? IN YOU. It’s not the weight you want to lose. The life you wish you had. The muscles you’ve always wanted. It’s what’s IN YOU that God is into. To Him and the world around you, you aren't a reflection in a mirror but a reminder of a miracle. And the legacy you will leave here won’t be marked by what you looked like but who you were.

2. Don't Stare At Shame

Another thing we tend to morph is our mind. Have you heard the statement, “We are our own worst enemy?” It’s true. We look at ourselves and see our mistakes and failures making us believe that we’re not good enough. We gaze into the funhouse mirror at all of our brokenness, regret and the ways we were victimized.  Like the Evil Queen in Snow White, the warped view tricks us into staring at the mirror asking it who we are so often that we miss becoming who we want to be.

To escape the funhouse you have to see beyond the illusions and distractions. You have to follow others who are going before you. Instead of questioning the mental "mirror mirror on the wall" for answers, ask friends to help you get through the crazy and point you to the door that leads back out into the light.  Celebrate each step forward and obstacle you overcome in the process.

You are not who the mirror says you are.  So break your gaze and find your next step. See you as who you were meant to be - whole, healed and free.

Kaley Thompson is the chief storyteller at People of the Second Chance. She lives in Charlotte, NC and wears a sparkly motorcycle helmet.

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