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I saw my mom in the mirror today.

I’ve seen her face, in mine, for many years, and I always cringe. When people saw us together, I would always hear, “You look just like your mom!” My mom would beam, and I would wince.

Today was different. I looked in the mirror. I saw how much I resembled my mom. I cringed. And then I actually saw my mother’s face.

My mom died six months ago. I have a lot of anger when I think of my mom. Maybe not anger, but long-term PTSD level frustration and disappointment. I think about how she didn’t meet my expectations, how she didn’t always take care of my needs, how I was always waiting on some step for her to show up (literally and figuratively).

Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know I need to give her some credit and understand that she did her best. Blah blah blah.

But nope. I don’t NEED to do any of that. What I need to do is to feel emotions when they arise and be with them.

When I saw my mom’s face in the mirror, I cringed.

I’m ugly.

I’m old.

I’m an ungrateful child.

And then...

I saw her blue eyes, her smile, and her heart. I saw her and realized that I would never see her again. That took my breath away. I took a moment to be with the image in the mirror. And my viewpoint shifted.

I can see my mom when I look in the mirror—what a beautiful thing. I can see my mom whenever I want, with just a mirror—what a gift.

The way to keep this new perspective, this gift, is to practice. I am going to find something that can remind me when I look in the mirror. Maybe a note on the mirror, or something of hers in the medicine cabinet. Something that brings me joy. Perspective is a choice.

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