How To Look At Your Reflection

© Copyright 2021 Patricia Dolor, Ryerson University.

We, as human beings, are so used to seeing our reflection constantly in the mirror that I believe, we tend to forget to appreciate what’s there. To delve into the beauty of the craftsmanship that was done to make us and our very own features, to bask in the differences and similarities that we may have with others. To honour our uniqueness in any way, shape, or form.

Patricia Dolor. “Reflection” Photograph (2021). January 6, 2021. © Patricia Dolor

First, start with the eyes. We’ve used our eyes to wander and explore. The number one step to looking with purpose, especially at ourselves, is to look with gratitude. The state of being thankful for our reflection, that each and every part of our body holds a purpose that is far beyond what we think we know, and reaches the unimaginable. Look at your eyes closely, how the shade of our iris says more about ourselves than a written biography, how our eyes speak volumes even when the room is totally quiet, how it moves mountains without having to lift a finger. The eyes, they speak the truth, even when lies become our second language.

Look at your lips, how they curve ever so slightly every single time we speak – look at how all the words have escaped your mouth, and how it still chooses to move in motion every time we decide to say something. Look at their strength, how we’ve yelled and screamed, and it’s still soft enough to say, “I love you” when we are not angry anymore, how courageous it is, that we can still say “I’ll always be there for you” even when we’re broken.

The ears are our gateway doors to another world, how gentle they are that they can bring us to another dimension when we hear the beats like we feel the braille of our emotions, every time we listen to a song. Without having to see, without having to touch – just like our other organs, they give us a feeling of sense. So, look at your ears with extra caution, make sure to be knowledgeable about this organ – how it brings balance in our life. In a world filled with chaos, our ears still have the ability to hear the ground breaking, the walls shake, the wind quiver – to bring us, back to safety.

Beauty lies in truth.

The truth of ourselves, we find in our reflection. We see the lines of our faces and how every crease has survived emotional disasters, that at some point, may seem natural to us. We see the curve of our body, how every motion has been twisted with insecurity, but here we are – present, alive, brave, beautiful. We see the power of our hands – the strength it holds to bring us back to life whenever we have the gift to touch, to feel, and to become.

The most beautiful things, we may not notice, because we are not searching for them, but it’s right in front of us. In the vulnerability of our eyes, in the fearlessness of our mouths, and the delicacy of our ears, it stays with us, and forever it will. Don’t be afraid to look because I promise you, once you start to see, you’ll never look back.


Images in this online exhibit are either in the public domain or being used under fair dealing for the purpose of research and are provided solely for the purposes of research, private study, or education.