The ladies room at work is evil.
(So evil, I call it “The Ego Deflator”.)
You see, no matter how cute I am feeling, one look in the ladies room mirror will strip me of any such delusions. Every line, every shadow, every broken capillary, every imperfection in my face screams from the mirror, assuring me of my soon-to-be-celebrated 40th birthday. When I look in that mirror, I look pale, sallow, washed out, tired, and old.
To be fair, I am not the mirror’s only target. All the other women at work have the same complaint: We just end up looking SO bad in that mirror.
Now some might say that our irritation is just vanity: We don’t want to accept our imperfections or the fact that we are aging.
(This is probably true.)
Yet this mirror doesn’t tell us the truth about how we look. It can’t, because the lighting in the ladies room is horrid. The bulbs are of the ultraviolet variety, and not only do they give off a rather unflattering glow, there aren’t enough of them, and the walls of the washroom are a nasty, dingy grey which reflects badly in the light.
So while we ladies do see some very real flaws when we peer into that ladies room mirror, we are also seeing ourselves, not as we really are, but how we look in contaminated light. We see our true flaws, to be sure, but we also see “flaws” that aren’t really there.
(The light can be corrupted. The light can be distorted.)
(And because I am human, I am quick to believe in the distortion.)
The mirror doesn’t tell me how I really look, because all it can do is reflect the light available to it. It took me awhile to realize this, though. I assumed that light was light. Eventually I paid more attention to my environment, and talked to others that shared it, to realize that the light was contaminated.
(I need to know the light better. When I truly know the light, I can know when it has been corrupted. Then I might be able to only see what is truly there.)
This blog post is part of this month’s Synchroblog on Light and Darkness as Motifs of Spirituality. Check out the other posts below:
Phil Wyman finds Darkness: a Thin Place for the Soul
Adam Gonnerman on being “In Darkness”
Jeff Goins is “Walking in the Light with Jesus”
Ellen Haroutunian finds Holy Darkness
Bethany Stedman thinks Light is Coming
Julie Clawson walks through Darkness and Light
Kathy Escobar will Take a Sliver Anyday
Susan Barnes at …and here’s a photo of one I made earlier
Joe Miller thinks you can Discover Light in Darkness
Beth Patterson talks about Advent: Awaiting the Ancient and the Ever New
Liz Dyer says What the Heck
Sally Coleman muses about Light into Darkness
Steve Hayes with the Lord of the Dark
Josh Jinno with Spiritual Motifs of Darkness and Light
KW Leslie contrasts Darkness versus blackness
Erin Word writes Fire and Sacrifice