"About to lose my breath
there's no more fighting left.
Nothing to do but lift my head
and look to you..."
I was standing in front of the mirror and the thought came, "where are you looking to find yourself?" Typing it here, it reads so benignly. But in that moment, it was far more poignant. I stepped back away from the counter and closed my eyes, realizing that I thought the woman, whose face had looked back at me from the mirror, was me.
But she isn't.
I am not her. She is nothing more than a projection of what I think I should see when I look in a mirror. My husband proves this to me every day. I walk out of the bathroom, and he tells me that I am beautiful. Me. The same me that I'd just looked at in the mirror, and thought, "Kate, you have got to start getting more sleep...you're a mess today." See what I mean. That mirror lies to me every day...and I still look to it for an opinion. My husband, a living, moving, breathing, loving person tells me that I am beautiful, and I look at him like he's on hallucinogens. But, a cold, sharp, lifeless piece of glass tells me I am tired, getting old, needing to lose a few pounds before summer....and who do I really believe?
That's where Selah's "I Look to You," comes into my heart. My husband does think I am beautiful. I know that. He looks into my denim-colored eyes and sees someone he believes in, enjoys the company of, and would lay down his life for. He looks at my no-longer-a-ballerina body with all it's lumps and wrinkles, and sees someone he is very happy to be walking hand-in-hand with. And as grateful as I am for the lens of his very loving heart...it's still a lens outside of myself, and one that I often find myself dismissing as romantically myopic.
What I really need, every minute of every single day, is not human encouragement from without...my husband's blurred vision, my mother's memory, my sister's fierce defense of my healthier post-anorexic form...but a divine point of view, an inner lens that sees out from the light of spiritual vision. I need to look out from the loveliness of Love in action, rather than at a self that needs to hear what a mirror has to say, to feel good about herself.
I've learned that in order to do this, I must start even before I open my eyes.
One of my favorite times of day...in fact, the most important time of day for me...is found in those measureless moments when I am aware of "being" but haven't connected with sentience. I am consciously awake to the fact that I exist, have being, and am cognizant, but I haven't yet opened my eyes to see where I am, felt around to be sure that I still have a body, heard a sound, become aware of my heart beating, or the rising and falling of each breath. I am purely conscious.
Some years ago I began working at lingering in this "space" for longer and longer moments. Then I started integrating more and more of these spaces into my day. In them, I look to God for information. Who am I? What would you have me do with this day? What is love? What do I look like in your eyes? What does it mean to have a voice?
These are just a few of the questions I might be led to listen forward...since I know that the questions themselves are from God as well. And this is a place of listening...pure, humble, conscious listening. This listening is not forced. It flows like a river and sometimes eddies in quiet places of stillness. Sometimes there is nothing but silence. And other times there are messages of beauty, clarity, order, grace so lovely I could rest within them, and float along...forever. It is this space that has made fearless about "the sting of death." And it, this truth, is all that I am certain of....the truth that this "space" of conscious being is my real body. And it is beautiful.
So, each time my husband tells me that I am beautiful, I know that he has visited this place too. Because when we look to Him, God, for our information, and then look out from that space at the world around us, quite frankly, everyone and everything is beautiful. Yes, even you. Beautiful you!
I love Selah's Amy and her willingness to tell of her story about how Love sees us, in this extended video clip for "I Look to You."