Dark circles around the eyes runs in my family. The eye and nose structure doesn’t help by casting a shadow. They appear less dark when I’m less stressed and when I’m caught up on sleep. But even then, they’re still there… as they are for my dad, his cousins and the previous generation.
For so long, I’ve been concerned with covering them up. Even after putting on concealer, I can still see them. People have told me I look beautiful, or that I have a pretty face — even without makeup.
But still, I often doubted it. When I started my spiritual journey and explored information about the power of the mind, I learned a lot about the influence our thoughts and beliefs have on what we see in our reality.
In Wayne Dyer’s words: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Here’s an example that shows you how your eyes work to change the things you see. The graphic below is called the Duck-Rabbit Illusion and it’s used to explain this phenomena to Psychology students.
If I told you it was a picture of a duck, you would see a duck’s head facing West. If I told you it was a rabbit, you would see a rabbit’s head facing East. The duck’s beak transforms into bunny ears. Try seeing the duck, then seeing the rabbit, then the duck again, and then the rabbit. Notice you can’t see both at the same time. But you can easily change between the two.
How do you do that?
When you expect to see something, you really see it. The same is true for everything we see in our reality. When we expect to see something, it stands out to us. It turns out, I was looking for the dark circles on my face when I looked in the mirror. Especially when trying to cover them up, all my focus was on them. That caused me to see them as bigger, darker and more noticeable.
In contrast, other people were just looking for my face. So, they saw the face as one whole face. They had a more balanced perception of it. I started paying more attention to the faces of people whom I thought were beautiful. What I ended up realizing is that some women have a similar eye structure to mine and they are absolutely gorgeous. I tried looking in the mirror at my face as a whole, and I could see that I was beautiful like them.
I found other “imperfections” on people’s faces who still looked beautiful as a whole.
There are always “imperfections” that could be focused on, but please realize that focusing on them affects what you see in the mirror. The only problem was my beliefs and fears surrounding my appearance.
People who are anorexic have an intense phobia of appearing fat. When they look in the mirror, everything they see is filtered by this fear. Believe it or not, anorexic people who are skinny to the bone can look in the mirror and honestly believe they are fat, because their visual perception is so distorted by their fear.
Emotions have an incredible effect on our sensory perception. Considering this, the real problem is our fear around how we appear. In our shallow society, it’s easy to feel like your appearance plays into your worth. If we can establish our self-worth from an intangible source, rather than from physical factors, I think we’ll see ourselves differently when we look in the mirror.
I’ll finish this post with an affirmation. Say this affirmation out loud every day. Better still, say it with your body in an upright, confident posture. This is how you really re-program yourself.
You could be up against very damaging programs from the media, peers, siblings or even a parent, which caused you to re-run those programs yourself for years. Re-programming your beliefs about yourself and your inherent worth does transform the way you see yourself, in every way.
I am loved and I am worthy.
I am beautiful inside and out.
I am a manifestation of the divine.
Every aspect of me is intentional.
Notice the way this affirmation makes you feel. Know that you don’t deserve to feel any less!