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M.J., Magic And An Unlikely Princess

Posted on October 27, 2013 at 1:50 AM

If you have never heard the song “Man In The Mirror” by Michael Jackson, the lyrics go something like this:

I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror

I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways

And No Message Could've Been Any Clearer

If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place

Take A Look At Yourself

And Then Make That Change!

Yes, the song IS about making the world a better place and starting with yourself. It’s about charity and kindness and compassion and generally being a person of improved character. But at the core is a truth you can’t escape. If you want to see a difference in your life, you have to look into the mirror. You have to look not only at your physical reflection but at your daily actions and look into your mind and reflect upon your attitudes and beliefs.

We make a habit of blaming other people and things and situations for not being who WE want to be. We blame our kids. We blame our parents. We blame the schedule. The TV. The weather. The economy. And while those things can be allowed to shift our motivations and actions, they need not be the cause for our stagnation.

We live in a city that is built around food. Gluttony abounds. Drinking (of alcohol), casual or otherwise, is a regular activity. But that doesn’t mean we cannot eat clean if we want to. Life here, like everywhere, is busy and packed with activity but being busy does not mean we cannot make time for exercise. And I hate to break it to y’all but, guess what, the idea that eating healthy is more expensive than eating junk is a misconception.

If you don’t like what you see when you look in the mirror because your body is not what youwould like it to be, then it’s time to make that change. If you know that you have always wanted to work out or eat healthier but always have excuses, it’s time to make that change to your attitude. If you just want to look at that man, or woman, in the mirror longer, make the change to prioritize healthy activity. Review your diet. Review your physical activity and ability. Review your habits, excuses and roadblocks.

Michael tells us he is “asking him to change his ways”. I think we ask ourselves constantly. We even pray to God to change us. And while God could help us out, it really is down to us, you and me, to make the necessary changes to recreate our lives. Don’t just ask. You will almost always say no. Not in so short an answer either. We spend hours standing in front of ourselves explaining how we simply do not have the time, money, energy, experience, education, inspiration, whatever, to make any change. We are the bosses of ourselves, right? Tell yourself, “Self, you will change!” And be specific.

As I have heard it put so well, you eat an elephant one bite at a time. Just like anything else. If you dive into a huge campaign to change yourself, you risk a set back caused by being overwhelmed or exhausted. Start at 1. Don’t move on to 2 until you are ready. Be strict, but be fair. Give yourself a break but keep pushing at the same time. Raise the bar. Reward yourself properly (Not with anything unhealthy!).

If you have seen the first “Harry Potter” movie or read the first book, you will remember the Mirror of Erised. If not, in a nutshell, it’s a big fancy old mirror which when gazed into shows you the deepest desire of your heart. Pretend you are looking into the Mirror of Erised and then live like it is your reality. And the people in your life, or your “friends” on the social network have no power over that. Only YOU can change you.

I will leave you with one last thought. A question. Not hypothetical…a real, honest, soul searching, mirror gazing question. It comes from the movie “Brave” and is stated by a princess who is most unwilling to be a princess. She is very happy to be herself and everyone else expects something different. She asks us, “If you had the chance to change your fate, would you?”

Categories: Overall Health