Standing in front of myself, a perfect stranger. What a reflection reveals is not a distortion but rather a clearer reality. Because who else can see through us with such accuracy if not our own two eyes.
I carry my eyes with me since the day I was born. And in the beginning of life I always looked out of me, like most of us; trying to make sense of the surrounding world, to learn and adjust. Trying to recognize familiar faces, connect, belong, love and feel loved.
I cannot count how many faces I have changed since birth. Perhaps every year, perhaps every single day, there was a slight difference. A baby, a child, a teenager, a young adult, a mother. But no matter how many faces I have changed, my eyes always remained the same.
My eyes are the way I look at myself, the way I perceive who I am.
Doubtful about how good I am.
Scared of not being accepted and loved.
Anxious about how well I can love others.
Feeling I do not fit in.
I realize that I maybe in need of a new pair of eyes. But instead of a transplantation, a transformation is more plausible. I cannot deny who I am or who I have been. I cannot reject my deepest fears because anyway this is what I have been trying to do and a lot of us do. We try to conceal, evade, avoid, compensate, forget, cover up. We change our bodies, jobs, partners, houses, countries of residence and so forth. And if all that works and an inner transformation is achieved, then it’s great.
We often try to change everything else apart from the way we look at ourselves and our own life. Our face looks different but the gaze is the same.
There is only one thing that can dissolve fear and we all know it.
Love, is the most powerful look that our eyes can contain;
I love who I am even though I am not perfect
I know I am loved even though people around me are not perfect
I choose to trust
I let myself belong
Maria Meramveliotaki is a psychologist/counsellor based in Limassol, Cyprus. She uses Acceptance & Commitment therapy as her main therapeutic approach but often integrates elements from Psychosynthesis in her work. She started her mental health career in Scotland working with young people and later in the substance misuse field. She’s currently in private practice and loves reading, writing and spending time with family.