National Reflection

It is time to look in the mirror and make an honest assessment.

Our face is covered in fine lines, cracks running through our visage. They are labeled racism, feminism, and terror.  We are showing life wear and tear, symptoms of stress.  We are experiencing disenchantment, a disconnect and suspicion of our neighbors.  In some cases we are actually devolving into paranoia.  It is as if darkness is hovering over our being, settling around us in a mantle of winter depression.

What we need is sunlight.  We need Spring to arrive, replete with its blossoms dotting our landscape.  We thirst for fresh air, hunger for calm and contentment. We need to take a deep breath and rediscover our strength of purpose.  We need to remember that beauty is more than skin deep.  It exists in the core of our being.  Character defines our existence. Optimal health encompasses our soul as well as individual parts of the body.

Under surface turmoil, our structure remains sound.   Yes, there are cosmetics we can apply, and exercise routines necessary to reduce the signs of aging.  In spite of the constant barrage of infomercials and health fads flung into our consciousness from every direction, however, we are still in pretty good shape.  We need to learn to recognize marketing techniques for what they are, acknowledge our imperfections and rejoice in the life that is ours.

We live in a nation that enjoys more prosperity and freedom than most on the planet.  We embrace the individual and celebrate the human in all of us. We are a nation of creators, comprised of  rich colors and dazzling backgrounds.  We experience great joy. Americans are not scrabbling amongst the ravages of a war torn land, suffering from bellies swollen with starvation.  Yet lately we have been bombarded by protests, surrounded by cries of how terrible we have it. Emotional outbursts are rampant.  This is not a perfect nation. There is suffering. There is injustice. We have needs that should and must be addressed.

Yet we must keep our perspective. Appreciate how lucky you are to enjoy the freedom to criticize.  Appreciate the diversity you have encountered, the technology you enjoy. Appreciate the bonds of friends and family, holidays you have shared.  Understand the abundance that has been and remains yours, the richness of history that brought you to this place and time.  Remember to sing, look at the sky, listen to a child. Though you are surrounded by reports of angst, whining and rage, remember to measure it against your own experience.  See the good in those around you. Laugh. Take time to focus on the abilities and activities you are lucky enough to enjoy. Love in every form.

Be grateful.  Be honest.  See truth. Focus on our gifts as well as our curses. Whether looking at a country or your own self, perfection is a myth, something to strive towards but an unreasonable expectation. There are so many parts you can find pride in. Ranting at a mirror is unproductive.  Hating ourselves for our flaws accomplishes precisely nothing. Allowing our nation to spiral downwards into endless cycles of negative repetition is a mistake.  We are working ourselves into unbalance, creating  our own disorder. Stop. Think.  Reassess. Draw in a cleansing breath. Do not allow equilibrium to shatter from a simple crisis of confidence.

Our body reflects the life we have lived so far. Negative wear and tear from bad choices has taken its toll.  Yet there are also lines from laughter, a few extra pounds from over indulgence. Our body is yet miraculous, capable of experiencing deep life. Ease up on the negativity and harsh judgement.  Stop hating yourself. Stop projecting bitterness. Take the responsibility to improve your situation. Action is admirable if it is positive and productive.

Life is an ongoing work in progress. We can strive to improve the less flattering parts of ourselves.  We can also be honest about our flaws and yet love our whole selves. Spring inevitably follows the winter. Let some light into your life. Choose to remain positive. It may not be fashionable but I am truly thankful to be American. I like what I see in the mirror. I need to be on a diet and could definitely get more exercise, but I am holding off on the plastic surgeon.



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