Find Inspiration In Your Eyes…

Last night I did the usual.  I decided I was too tired to shower off the humid grunge from the rainy long day of toting kids to camp and swim team and a birthday party and then spending the evening at my daughter’s swim meet.  Instead, I washed my face and looked up into the mirror to do the usual self-critique:  identifying all the wrinkles, break-outs, dark circles and greasy hair…reflected in the bright unforgiving mirror.

Then I caught my eyes.

I froze.

I stared deep into them.

I had a moment…

My stare remained locked, as the color and the shape revealed what lived beyond them.

I saw a sweet innocent little blue-eyed, pearly white-haired child in an adorable red bikini smiling.

I saw an awkward pimple faced grade school kid carrying all her instruments down the walking path to school.

I saw a troubled, heartbroken and lost teen… searching for peace and acceptance and love.

I saw a sin soaked, shameful, rebellious, risk taking, soul searching, dream catching, adventurous, flailing, flying, finding… twenty-something young woman.  Passionate, broken, learning and healing.

I saw a thirty-something woman who surrendered and grieved and celebrated and loved and gave and discovered new-found wisdom and faith. 

I saw a 40-something weary, terrified, fumbling mother with a new purpose filled with doubts and strength.

And I started to cry…

I continued to look…and see a history that is rich and broken.  Painful and purposeful.  An  incredible and invincible journey up to this very moment of deep introspection…

Locked in a passionate gaze with myself and all that I am.

My tears slowly dried.

As a smile emerged in the mirror’s image, reflecting a sweet and subtle compassion and a fierce and fulfilling pride.

Behind all the signs of living.  Beyond the circles and the wrinkles and the aging…

I found a woman with faith and grace and giving.  A woman who never stops trying.  A woman who loves unending.  A woman who has grown and matured and failed and fallen.  A woman who never gives up and  rarely gives in.  A woman who is wise and courageous and loyal.  A woman who has grown and found her way…still stumbling, still failing.

Yet, forgiving.

I nodded, as my wrinkles and circles and every flaw disappeared.  I lifted my head in loving acceptance and agreement.

I am battered and beautiful.  Guilty and grace-laced.  Vulnerable and victorious.  Fearful and fortified.  Empty and empowered.  Fumbling and fulfilled.

This life, this woman, this soul, this heart, this mind…these eyes.

They are mine.

All mine.

Find Inspiration in Your Eyes

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Comments

    • says

      Yes… I caught an amazing unpredictable and powerful glimpse that night. It was truly amazing. Look for yourself, sweet friend! I bet your eyes show a magnificent beauty and depth too…

      • says

        This must have been one of the first few things I read of yours? Or is it? I don’t even know how long your blog has been a staple for me. And apparently last July I was quite rude and never replied. Never even crowed about scoring FRIST on your post (though back then, it wasn’t a ‘thing’ yet)

        When I look into my eyes…usually I see puzzlement, bemusement and sometimes the universe 🙂

        • says

          I KNOW you see more than that. I could write a 1,000 word post about what I SEE in YOUR EYES lovely Lizzi!! Eyes are truly the window to our soul, yes? You eyes stretch deep… into a rich trove of goodness and yes, some puzzlement and dark places…but the goodness and glory and light far exceed the holes in your soul. They beam from your eyes… and all around you feel the rays.

  1. says

    My favorite bits “I am battered and beautiful. Guilty and grace-laced. Vulnerable and victorious. Fearful and fortified. Empty and empowered. Fumbling and fulfilled.” lovely post

  2. Tammy says

    Oh the tears! They came rushing from me unexpectedly as I read this beautiful introspection from this woman I love and respect so much. So absolutely beautiful are you Chris – beautiful and strong. Hard times don’t steel your faith and spirit of loving others away. You are such and encouragement. I wanna be you when I grow up!

    • says

      AW!!! You are such a love and such an ENORMOUS blessing in my life. Your beauty shines bright and your love endures all.
      Your encouragement inspires me to be a better me. 🙂

    • says

      AW Jennifer!!! That means the WORLD to me! And it makes my heart break into pieces thinking I am missing the great opportunity to meet YOU, my friend. It WILL happen. I am sure of that… 🙂

  3. says

    Another Jennifer, if you met Chris in person, you would find out that she is every bit as wonderful to know as she seems from her thoughts here.

    Much love to you, Chris.

  4. says

    Ditto to all the comments above – you are indeed a beautiful person inside and out. I love the imagery, the acceptance and your descriptive human words. All yours. All human. Gorgeous post, Chris.

    • says

      Thank you SO much Mary… I can’t tell you how good it felt to have that intense and passionate moment with myself. I truly believe we all could and should have it.
      Every one of us is worthy of that, don’t ya think? YOU, my friend are beautiful. Xoxo…

  5. says

    Absolutely beautiful and true. It’s hard though- I imagined that it would be hard for me to say that about myself. I’m so much better at bringing me down, then lifting me up. It hit me…ironically, between the eyes.

    • says

      I get that Julie… I truly get that. But here’s the thing- you are you…

      All your pieces and parts, both ugly and beautiful are yours and yours only. Each piece is worthy of your acceptance and your UNconditional love. You have the rest of your life to live with you- perhaps it’s time to realize that even those bruised or battered parts are worthy of your love and deep honor. You’ve earned that! Embrace yourself, all of you. Take pride in who you are. Your history, your layers and layers of life… create you. Treasure them like rich gems. Why not?

  6. says

    There is so much to you – and while reading this, it reminds me that there is so much to all of us. This morning, when I look in the mirror, I’m going to try to look beyond my own dark circles and crow’s feet and remember that. xxxooo

  7. says

    YES ILENE!!! There is so so SO much to every single one of us! That’s the richness in finding our self love and worth, isn’t it? Why not love every part of who we are? Why not accept and honor those beautiful parts and broken pieces each the same. We add more “jewels” to who we are every day in our lives… some pretty, some not. But they are ours. I find a profound power in honoring that truth. I bet you do too, dear friend. 🙂

    • says

      Oh Tracie… thank you from the bottom of my heart!! I think in this new self discovery, I learned how to truly accept all my parts and pieces. Even the ugly ones. They all are what make me who I am. 🙂

  8. says

    What a beautiful and moving post, Chris. It’s really a poem. I love it. I absolutely love it. I’ve already read it twice…and I’m going back for a third time right now.

    This line made me tear up: “I lifted my head in loving acceptance”
    Beautiful. –Lisa

    • says

      I am so, so glad you read it over again Lisa! Perhaps it’s impact on your heart truly says something about you. Beautiful you. Every single layer and fiber and gift that is you. It was SO weird how it all just hit me! Owning all my parts… feeling a deep resonating acceptance of the truth. I have so many parts of me that I have been ashamed of and hated and wept over… now I feel a new sense of appreciation for each broken piece that was/is/will be me.

      Oh Lisa, try it… it’s absolutely freeing and worth celebrating who we are! I mean, why not? You are the only you ever. EVER! Oh, how I just love that. 🙂

  9. says

    Wow. Just, wow… What an amazing post.

    “I am battered and beautiful. Guilty and grace-laced. Vulnerable and victorious. Fearful and fortified. Empty and empowered. Fumbling and fulfilled.” <<– Amen to that.

    • says

      Thank you SO SO much Dani!!! I am so honored and thrilled you stopped by to read it! I love that line too… because it embraces every one of us really. 🙂

    • says

      Yes… and if you look deep enough, you will discover the most unique and beautiful soul that is in you. Oh, how I want every single woman (or man) to have a moment like mine!
      Thank you so so much for your kind words and for taking the time to stop by and read mine. So grateful!

  10. says

    Beautiful post. It sounds like you have found peace with yourself. What a gift. It’s something I’ve found in my forties as well. And it’s a wonderful thing.

    Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

    • says

      Oh Robin, thank you so so much for your sweet encouragement and taking the time to stop by. I am SO glad you have found this gift too! I know you have had your share of hardships and struggles, my friend.

      True self love and acceptance is a wonderful and amazing blessing to be had by all. Apparently, it takes about 45 or so years to really “get it” for us, eh? 🙂

  11. says

    This: “A woman who has grown and found her way…still stumbling, still failing.” That mirror can do a number on us sometimes, but when we have that moment when God can get us to look past the mirror and at the woman He sees and loves, time and its wounds are redeemed, and so are we!

    • says

      Oh Alison, that is just beautiful! Yes, new friend- YES! It is amazing when we embrace His Grace and apply it to ourselves. We are redeemed in His Eyes… why not ours?
      I am so grateful for your comment. Thank you so much for reading and sharing!

  12. Candice says

    Imagine what we would accomplish as a human race if we ALWAYS gave ourselves the acceptance, love, and grace that our Father does through his Son. What a beautiful moment you had, all should have it indeed…and that moment should stretch into way of thinking in all our moments. SOOOOO beautifully written Chris!!!!!

    • says

      Yes, indeed sweet sister! I agree wholeHEARTedly!!! 🙂 So much misery, sadness and pain swirls around this world of ours. God’s amazing Love and Grace would transform every heart.

      Thank you so much for being such a significant part of each and every season of my life…

  13. says

    I actually thought I commented. This is such a awesome post. Looking into ourselves and acknowledging our short comings and failures… is the best way to also see our growth. “I am battered and beautiful. Guilty and grace-laced. Vulnerable and victorious. Fearful and fortified. Empty and empowered. Fumbling and fulfilled.” Absolutely LOVE this part!

  14. says

    I think that line says it all… but the intense acceptance deep down in my heart- lights those words up more for me.

    Acceptance and true self love is so difficult for so many… I pray this reaches hearts that struggle with this issue!

    • says

      Hmm… feeling the hug right NOW!!!!! Xoxo….

      Thank you thank you thank you Stephanie!!!

      Oh, how I pray more women will have a moment like mine!!!

  15. says

    Just beautiful… this reminds me of an Alice Walker essay, “Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self” – both are so powerful and eloquently written! I love it!

    • says

      Thank you SO much Beth!! Your feedback means the world to me! To be compared to Alice Walker is truly a blessing! So grateful you stopped by. 🙂

    • says

      Thank you so very much Keith! You too- YOU – all of you… love yourself. Embrace all that is you. You are a gift.

      So glad you stopped by, my friend. 🙂

    • says

      I know I know… it’s so easy to “avoid ourselves” isn’t it? Ah but there is a whole world deep in there… ready for the taking, the accepting, and the love! You are such a dear to stop by Tricia… I am SO grateful!!!! 🙂

  16. says

    I have a feeling I’ll need to revisit this post, many times, to soak up all that is good and true and transformative in these words. What a gift you’ve given us, Chris, by sharing this. I am grateful, and I hope that someday we all see each other through similar eyes. xoxo

    • says

      Oh Lisa… I am so grateful for your beautiful comment!!! Thank you so so much. I want to re-read it over and over again. 🙂 You have given me a gift in your encouragement and oh, how I love that you truly took my words, my experience, my journey… me… to heart. For that I am deeply touched. I pray we all can see beyond our eyes and embrace who we are- every single part of us is worthy of our love.

    • says

      Oh Capri!! I am so sorry this response is so late!! I am so grateful you stopped by to read my post!! It seems it’s more our nature to always be critical of ourselves… it takes time and effort and true self love to think otherwise.
      XO

  17. says

    So eloquently written my sweet friend! It touches every aspect of the soul! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful writings Chris and thanks for dropping by and linking up! Have a blessed evening! xoxo

    • says

      It was truly a “moment” for me, Michelle. I thought I had gone “deep” endless times in my healing and acceptance for all that I am… but apparently there was more to be done. I love how God continues to transform us and shine new light in places that sometimes we don’t even know we need it. 🙂

  18. Amy says

    Chris, this is absolutely beautiful! Meeting you enriched my life more than you know. Bravo on this wonderful blog! I will be reading more, (and missing Bally’s more)!

    • says

      Oh AMY!!!! I am SOOO EXCITED you came by and you are reading me!!! What a total blessing to find you HERE!! I hope you are doing really REALLY well, my friend!! XOXOXO

  19. says

    What a gift you have with words! I wish all women would read and absorb and accept this perspective. The eyes are the window to the soul, where the true “us” resides. The rest is just window dressing. (stopping in from SITS…)

    • says

      I love LOVE how you put that Seana!! It’s so true!! And what we truly see, we must embrace as our own and love every last piece of it… 🙂

  20. says

    Very well written! I’m in my mid fifties and sometimes I don’t quite like the reflection I see in the mirror, but you put it all in perspective with your beautiful story. Thanks.

    • says

      I know… I get that Alli. And yet, why don’t we embrace who we are? We are who we are, and that should be enough. Even the parts we need to change or improve. Everything should start with us loving ourselves… the entire package. It’s all ours. 🙂

    • says

      Thank you so much Tara!! And doesn’t everyone have a story and parts of ourselves that aren’t as pretty that we need to embrace? Oh yes. We deserve our own love, if nothing else. 🙂

  21. says

    Chris, you are so amazing! As a woman, I’ve had moments just like yours before, but I could never write and express them as beautifully as you just did. Don’t ever stop writing.

    • says

      Oh Shanna!! Your encouragement means the WORLD to me!! I am so glad you have had your “moments of inspiration” too, my friend. We need to embrace them!! 🙂

    • says

      I like that word Sheila!! It really is a reflection and I am proud to share it in hopes that whomever reads it can also have their moment in the mirror too… 🙂

  22. says

    I’m so embarrassed to say this is the first time I have come to your site. What in the world have I been doing with my life? Your writing is so clear, real, raw and beautiful! I am going to sign up to be a regular. You have a true gift. Wow!!

  23. says

    Chris! Oh wow, this touches every part of us women who are so hard on ourselves sometimes and forget to love and cherish the beautiful beings we are. Thank you for painting a beautiful portrait of yourself and, by extension, of all of us as we look into our own eyes.

    • says

      AW!! Thanks so much, my new friend!! Sometimes it takes years of looking… but eventually you realize it’s ALL you and it’s time to embrace it! 🙂

    • says

      AMEN to that Jamie… AMEN to THAT!! I am so glad you have been ‘there’ with yourself!! I don’t think many have, and that breaks my heart. I pray they get there!!

    • says

      I think we may all be able to really reflect on our stages of life and eventually embrace every last piece and part of us that makes us who we are… It’s definitely a process, but oh how I pray everyone can land where I did that night. 🙂

    • says

      Thank you SO much for stopping by Jean!! Our perspective starts to change as we age, doesn’t it? I tend to feel like a teenager, and yet- all the years bring me to these moments of enlightenment. I’m glad you were inspired!! 🙂

  24. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this with me Chris! I want that moment so desperately – that moment when I can see the beauty in myself. I haven’t had one incredible moment like this, but I’m taking baby steps toward it with support from others and beautiful words like these. The next time I look in the mirror, I will remember your words and I will try, really try to see beyond what’s on the surface. This helps more than you will ever know~

    • says

      Oh Lisa!!! I love that you have such a heart to try and dig deep and truly believe my words and your potential for such self love!!!!

      I am going to be praying for you to have a moment like this… keep looking for it, okay?

  25. says

    I’m so glad I found this post, Chris. The scars and sadness make the joy, happiness and love shine out so brightly. I’m there right now but it has taken many years. Your words and experience describe it so perfectly.

    • says

      Ya know, it’s still one of my favorite posts. It was most definitely an “aha moment” and I am SO glad you are there right now too Jennifer!!! It is a beautiful place to land, isn’t it? I hope and pray others can read it and take a closer look at themselves through their own eyes… and conclude the same realization and revelation in doing so.

      I am SO glad you read it!!!! And so grateful. XOXO

    • says

      SQUEE!!!!!! Can you imagine? Ohmygosh I don’t think I will EVER let go of you!!!! I will body SLAM you and hold on for hours!!!! I love you so much SSSF!!! (Do you know I literally chuckle and have this lingering sigh every stinkin’ time I write SSSF- and say our ‘code’ in my head?) I love- US. 🙂

  26. says

    *chills* that my be my favorite post of yours ever. So amazing, touching, honest…..every single adjective there is. This will resonate with me for a long time, as will your comment on my post, which I read three times and then decided to print and save. Your words did something to me. A permission. A healing. A place to put those feelings.

    Thank you for pointing me here sweet friend. *hugs*

    • says

      I don’t have words that describe the depth of my emotions right now… there are none that go to that place. I can only attempt to use what language we have with these letters composed to make beautiful words- that somehow reflect the goings on within. I am SO profoundly touched by your response, and I am equally thrilled that you printed out my comment- to perhaps be placed on purpose where you most need it.

      May it grant you the door to open and ignite the beautiful calm waters that are your truths. My prayer is that you bask in the light’s reflection… and when the stones get ‘forced up’ again, the process will once again be your healing path to that place of peace amidst the crystal layers that settle back in again. They always will… because that, my friend- is the home in who you are. Simply allow the muddy waters beneath to settle after the vapors spin… they will lose the current, because the power of the true water’s weight will eventually prevail.

      I speak from much experience. 🙂

  27. says

    I just saw this on HuffPo but couldn’t figure out how to leave comments there. Beautiful, just beautiful! I’m so excited to see you out there being daringly vulnerable with a wider audience who needs Jesus. We welcome people in with our honesty. You are so relatable and disarming. Blessings to you!

    • says

      Oh Bonnie! You are SUCH a dear to come over here to share your beautiful encouragement with me!! Thank you, my new precious friend. Your words mean the WORLD to me! XO

    • says

      Sherill, I’m so glad you came bu to read this. Thank you so much for your precious comment. May you find your own inspiration in YOUR eyes! <3

  28. says

    Hi, what a beautiful post. I once read a quote that says” Our eyes speaks the truth when everything else is a lie” and I do believe that it is true. Thanks for sharing. Great Read!

    • says

      Oh Lynne, I’m so glad you came to read this post! I absolutely love that quote. *Writing it down* Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

  29. says

    How wonderful that you able to accept YOU. It took me a long time, too! I recently posted a picture of me 30 years ago and I was staring at that picture wondering who in the world that lady is! The years have aged and matured me, and I’m wiser for the time I have on this earth. Wrinkles? No way. They are smart lines. Gray hair? I’ve earned every single one of them. Life is good, and gets better with age.

    • says

      AMEN to THAT Tina!! With aging comes such a fresh breath of acceptance and gratitude! Aren’t WE the lucky ones! Thank you so much for coming by to celebrate this moment with me. 🙂

  30. says

    Perfect post to share for the prompt. Don’t you feel growth from when you wrote it? I love the soul inside us that can me captured and written about by looking at our reflection. This was beautiful.

    • says

      Thanks so much Kenya! Yeah, when I saw the prompt, I just had to add this one! 🙂 It was an incredible moment, indeed. I don’t always have those, when I look into the mirror- actually I RARELY DO! lol But that night, something clicked. I’m so glad it did.

  31. says

    Chris! This is stunning and beautiful and so so true. It takes a long time to accept ourselves and once we’re past the moments of seeing our flaws, we realize how truly beautiful we were (which then it becomes hard to not compare to today and wish for that youth back).

    Your words “guilty and grace-laced” are going to stay with me. I’m so glad to have read this and that you linked it up for Finish the Sentence!

    • says

      Thank you so much love, for GETTING IT. That moment was incredibly powerful for me… I’ll never forget it. AND I need to never forget it, for all those other times I look into the mirror and can’t go ‘there’. <3

  32. says

    Yes. Seeing all of your selves, as they blend to form the you looking into the mirror — and finding the acceptance to be happy with the vision that is looking back at you. I’m so happy for you!!!!!

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