Most of us spend at least a few minutes a day in front of mirrors. But how often do we find comfort in our reflection as opposed to finding it unsatisfactory? I know that I’ve personally never seen a woman pass a mirror without taking a quick peek at herself, and more often than not she will then also fix her hair. Yes, it’s a disease and one that I’m not 100% sure is limited to the female sex.
This past week in the 52 Frames photography group I joined, the theme was self-portrait. There is something deeply personal and often disturbing to us when we take a long hard look at ourselves. I think that’s the reason that so many people, myself included, struggle with self portraits.
There was much muttering, cursing and complaining but in the end 154 of us submitted our self portraits. There are some beautiful shots in the album and lots of inspiration for the next time I am hit with this challenge.
But before I show you the shot I submitted, first take a look at
all some of my rejects. (And yes, I was oh so vain and had my hair done before I even contemplated taking pictures of myself.)
And the next two pictures are because I need to find a way to entertain myself and keep myself calm when I go clothing shopping with my daughter.
What I’ve come to realize from this week’s challenge is that while we think we’re really looking at ourselves, I believe that we’re just looking without focusing or really seeing ourselves. It’s kind of the same nuance as hearing vs. listening.
For some reason it’s hard to focus on ourselves. It’s hard to peel off the superficial layers of what we think we see or the way we think others see us and to objectively see the whole person reflected back to us. It’s distressing to even think about being vulnerable and exposed.
We tend to focus on anything but ourselves. We mask our feelings and our vulnerabilities. And that’s exactly how the picture I liked best came out. My caption for the photo was:
My 2014 Resolution: Don’t wait for life to hand me anything, especially lemons. Get out there and pick what I want.
(If you like the picture and want to like it on Facebook as well, you can click here to get to it.)
Even when I have the lens focused on me, I’m out of focus. I’m more comfortable doing things and not focusing on myself.
It’s hard to turn the lens on yourself but sometimes it’s the only way to get some insight into what is keeping you from breaking out of your comfort zone.
What do you find is the hardest part of focusing on yourself? And just out of curiosity, are you comfortable staring at yourself in the mirror?
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