The other day I put my nose against a mirror.
But I wanted to see what I could see from there.
You know what I saw?
One big blurry eye (I)—and everything very clearly behind me.
I couldn’t help but notice how much was around me, actually. I saw my roommate’s messy half of the closet, his unmade bed and someone’s trash BY, not in, the trashcan (pet peeve). I mean, things I had never seen before getting that close to the mirror.
I truly gained a new perspective once I took myself out of focus.
Then I took a step back…
I saw that my desk was cluttered, my bag thrown on the floor and MY trash sitting by the bin.
I saw the truth.
It was me.
I realized in a society where the selfie is kept so close to our faces, that gaining vision to see beyond our noses is like looking into a mirror. My faults become blurry and everyone else’s imperfections seem so clear.
And I do this a lot.
I can be ashamed of my frustrations with other’s shortcomings when the bar I set for myself is so often out of reach.
I may want to hide form the dating advice I so readily give but never take.
I at times feel embarrassed by my public preaching of perfection while endeavoring to conceal clandestine clashes with my conscience.
BUT I don’t think that harboring these negative emotions and thoughts is helpful or healthy.
No, I think there must be a better way.
A wise man and one of the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder-day saints said, “We must put aside our pride, see beyond our vanity, and in humility ask, ‘Lord, is it I?’” (read the whole talk here)
Someone told me that their friend was tired of their mother ragging on her for not being married and so she gave her my post about people not giving singles such a hard time. She had hoped her mother would get the hint.
Her mother called her the next day and said, “Honey, loved that post! You should go out with that nice Oates boy!”
Are we getting the right point?
I am grateful for a chance to take a step back from the mirrors of pride, from time to time, and realize that while I’m not perfect, I can get on my knees every night to the Lord in prayer. And when I ask Him, as the apostles of old, “Lord, is it I?”—
His response is usually, “Thought you’d never ask.”
It is in those moments that the bothersome background blurs to banal and the perennial present progresses to prosperous.
It is in these moments that I can see that the path to perfection is paved with personal correction.
It is in these moments that the Lord is smiling to know that, at least for a little bit, I can see clearly enough to listen.
Is it I that needs to change my dating habits?
Is it I that needs to be clean more?
Is it I that needs to study the scriptures more?
I hope that I will read this post from time to time to help remind me to ask the Lord this selfishly selfless question.
As for you…well, I couldn’t say.