Back in the house I grew up in, where not much changes, I am reminded of the Heather that was. The young woman who so desperately wanted to be thin, pretty, accepted. I stand in front of the bathroom mirror where I spent countless hours despising my body. Today, the reflection that stares back at me is wearing size 0 jeans and has muscles in her arms and legs that tell the story of miles walked and rock faces climbed. The reflection is finally what the old me wish for so fervently.
And yet, there is no change in my feelings toward myself as I see this "perfect" reflection.
I am still uncertain. I doubt my worth, my abilities, my attractiveness. These scars will always mar any reflection of myself.
It is when I walk away from that mirror, or any mirror, that my feelings change.
It is when I stand atop a mountain peak that I struggled to obtain.
It's when I stare back at miles covered.
It's when I crawl into my tent exhausted from giving everything I have.
It's when I've run hard–so hard I can't breathe.
It's when I feel my leg muscles contract and bulge powering me upward and forward.
It's when I shove my hands and feet into a narrow crack and twist–hauling myself upward–my body the only anchor holding me to the rock.
At those times I feel strong. I feel confident. I feel beautiful. I feel purposeful.
Appearance is nothing. It is the fact that I am fearfully and wonderfully made that matters. I may never be able to fully overcome my past–but as with a reflection–I can always walk away from it and into present reality.