If my computer is telling me the truth, and I have no reason to believe it is lying to me, the outdoor temperature is 41 degrees. That’s brisk. I know that’s brisk because I went outdoors a few minutes ago. The purpose of my outdoor adventure was to retrieve three hummingbird feeders from the “sky room” off the master bedroom and hang the feeders outside. I take the feeders in each evening because raccoons will find them if I don’t. If the raccoons find the feeders, the beasts will spill sugar-water all over the deck in their efforts to drink the sugary juice contained in the feeders. Fortunately, there’s an entrance to the “sky room” from the deck as well as from the master bedroom. So I don’t have to carry hummingbird feeders through the bedroom. That’s a long way of explaining how I know it’s chilly outside, isn’t it? Yes, it is. That’s one my flaws; maximizing word counts to explain things that could have been explained with far fewer syllables and the words those syllables comprise.
My faults are on my mind because I watched a short video on Facebook a while ago. In the video, a guy recited a sing-song poem about how advertisers and the world at large try to convince us that we, as individuals, are not enough. We need products to make us attractive and/or lovable. We need to change the way we look or the way we project ourselves to the world if we expect to be accepted and embraced. The video’s intent was to convince the viewer that we, as individuals, are enough. We ought to love ourselves the way we are, absent products or perceptions designed to enhance us in the eyes of others. I’ve heard that message before. Many times. It resonates with me. But it’s a message that, for one reason or another, doesn’t work to change my self-perception.
I look in the mirror and see a thousand faults that I must correct if I can ever expect to be lovable. Let me be clear here. I’m referring both to a literal look into the mirror and a figurative look in the mirror. That is, flaws litter both the surface and what’s underneath. So many, in fact, that I wonder whether anything would be left if all the flaws were removed. Perhaps only a shadow would remain. Perhaps I would be visible only if a veil were draped over the remnants of a hollow form. An empty vessel.
That’s an interesting, if depressing, concept. The idea, I mean, that we are nothing more than a collection of our flaws. Without them, we are hollow; ready to be filled with and shaped by strengths to replace the faults. But strengths tend to grow into gnarled flaws. The attributes of strength morph into disfigurements, like muscles exercised too much.
All right. I’ve let this post simmer for the better part of three hours. Actually, I walked away from the computer and forgot that I hadn’t hit “post.” Only just now did I realize my blog was awaiting my care. In the interest of ensuring my little piece of internet real estate feels noticed, I’ll post this now. Yes, I will.