Thinking about who I am…and want to be {Day 18}

It has been one of those days when I look in the mirror and wonder who is looking back at me.
Has that happened to you?
 I actually don’t spend much time looking in the mirror.  I use minimal make up and am blessed with hair that needs little attention.
Surprisingly, it is possible to put on eyeliner, mascara and hair product, and never really look at myself…not really. Not deeply.
As I write this, Tori the Wonder Dog is beside me. She doesn’t care how I look.  She never sees the faults.
But I do.
And so do others…or maybe they just feel them.
My Uncle John is very close to passing over. I visited him for what may have been the last time today.  
This “fact of life” never gets easier. He has been quite sick, so Heaven will be a blessing.
But my heart, of course, breaks for my aunt and their kids.
For this, and a few other reasons, I found myself looking closely in the mirror this evening.
I’m thinking about what people would say about me, if this happened to be my last day on earth.
It is of no matter to me if there are negative words…my concern is whether I am currently living up to the good things people might say.
It’s beneficial to do a little self-examination…the imminent passing of a loved one often triggers that.  
I suppose that is natural. We are forced to consider our own mortality, and the heartache of losing someone we have known forever.
I also think about the tremendous privilege I have to be part of a terrific family. Truly.
As the only child of a single parent, I couldn’t have asked for a better extended family.
On days like this, when I look closely in the mirror, I want to see character that makes the people who have gone ahead proud…and inspires those coming behind me.
I want to be known as a person who always means what she says.
Sometimes, my desire to be a pleaser gets ahead of me. I say Yes when I really mean Maybe.
Or I summon my excellent managerial skills, which worked well for the 20 years I was a small business owner or retail manager, but aren’t effective or appropriate in “managing” relationships.
How about you? Can you relate?
It isn’t loving or fair, and is not the person I want to be.
I want to be a person who radiates joy. Not happiness at every circumstance. JOY.
Sometimes I am.
Other times, not so much…and there are no excuses.
Everyone’s got something, and my something is no worse.
Joy comes from a deep, abiding relationship with Jesus. Not from circumstances.
Joy manifests itself as strength and patience and peace.
Shame on me for the days I am not joyful.
Mostly, I want to be authentic.
I want to be exactly who I am.
Not recklessly. Not hurtfully.
But authentically. The way God molded and wired me to be. Period.
Holding the hand of a man I have known since birth, and knowing it may have been the last time, reminds me of the obvious…I am finite.
My days are numbered.
Living with complete integrity and joy, making sure I can keep my word before I give it, choosing authenticity over people-pleasing can’t wait.
I have a book to write, people to love, a calling to uphold.
All that was not present when I looked in the mirror today.
And in the murkiness, I could see the faces of people I love who suffer because of it.
Thank God for new mercies every day.
Here’s to the blessing of a new day…and the hope of forgiveness.
We will talk again tomorrow…

 I’m participating with The Nester in 31 Days of Examining My Heart.
This is Day 18.
You can find all 31 Dayers here. There are so many wonderful topics.
If you miss any days in the series, you can find the introduction and each day’s post here.

Beth Painter is a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.

Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life!