In my teens, I would judge.
My skin is pale, my feet are weird, my hair looks like a Cocker Spaniel died on my head... I was such a pro at noticing flaws, I could find them in the dark.
In my 20s, I would compare.
Nothing was ever right when I thought about everyone else - my clothes, my shape, my hair, my smile. I was working at all the wrong things, focusing on my outside while my inside ripped me to shreds. I also have a lot of pretty friends which, in the darkest of emotional times, isn't helpful.
Now, in my 30s, I say hi.
Yes. To myself. Yes, it's super weird. But it's immensely helpful, and here's why.
When you say hi to yourself in the mirror, other than the initial feeling crazy part, you're entering into a relationship. It's welcoming, open, and low pressure. When I look in the mirror and say hi, I'm focused on who I see as a person, the whole person, not pieces and parts.
It's hard to judge when I'm saying hello. It's a way of accepting who I am, how I look, how I feel, and what my junk is that day without making it a whole Dr. Phil episode. There's no need for a huge pep talk about loving myself and accepting myself and "you're valuable no matter what, Kendra!" I just say hi, take a breath, and keep walking. Because the longer I look, the more wonky I become.
Hi doesn't leave room for judgment, for comparison; its only goal is to welcome. I want to be welcoming to myself. I want to invite my own soul to relax in a body that I've treated so harshly for so long.
Saying hi helps, so I do it every time I look in the mirror. Give it a try; maybe it'll help you, too.
P.S. If clothes get you wonky, check out this week's podcast episode - The Lazy Genius Gets Dressed.