What’s Your Relationship With the Mirror? It’s Complicated.

July 28, 2020

What’s Your Relationship With the Mirror? It’s Complicated.

May 29, 2023

Thanks to MEA alum Pat Whitty for the title of this post, which he sent me after he watched my YouTube video staring into my bathroom mirror. Aging is an artform, a courageous act in public.

Of course, scorn and criticism are heaped on women more than men because our idealized vision of youth and beauty is so often focused on the feminine.

It’s been said that happiness is the ultimate cosmetic. A comedian once mused, “Just when I got comfortable in my own skin, it started to sag.” What’s it like to witness the deterioration of your life vehicle? How much energy and money do you put into making that vehicle look younger than it is? God knows we all need a good body shop.

But, does all this attention to vehicular maintenance distract you from what it feels like inside the car, or where that car is going? Maybe the patina of age that comes over us is just the universe’s way of introducing us to what’s inside, and a gentle reminder to not stress what’s going on outside.

It’s time to ask the question, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the sagest of them all?” Long ago, the French concept of “noblesse oblige” emerged based upon “the inferred responsibility of privileged people to act with generosity and nobility toward those less privileged.” Maybe it’s time for the era of “sagesse oblige” in which the sage rises up and offers wisdom to those who are younger. No doubt, if this becomes your focus, you won’t be obsessing about your mirror nearly as much.

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