I stand before you exposed and vulnerable. I wish you would turn out the lights or possibly dim them. I see the way you look at me slowly from head to toe, side to side, your eyes moving slowly. For a moment it seems to me that you don't recognize me; as though you're seeing me, the real me, for the first time. For a fleeting moment I think you'll turn and run. But, you don't run. You stay and look longingly at my features.
And, just when I think I will turn and run away from your gaze you reach out and touch my face. I think to myself, please don't notice the lines around my eyes. Your hand moves slowly down to my neck and I hope you are not seeing that my skin is no longer tight. I wonder, "can you love me as I am"? I stretch long, knowing that this will erase what you're seeing. Like a ballerina I raise my ams long above my head, touch my fingers together, and present myself long and graceful before you. I turn on my toes ever so slightly to show you my still curved profile. You appreciate this; this stance erases stretch marks, elongates my once slender hips, and smoothens out the dimples on my legs.
I look deep into your eyes searching for what it is you really see before you.
Then I start to realize that something has changed in the way you see me. You begin to whisper to me that these changes that had me wishing for darkness have actually made me beautiful again. Still. You see the woman before you who has aged with the wisdom that comes from learning the hard way. You see my scars as evidence that I have fallen and picked myself back up. You notice the lines around my eyes as proof that I didn't stay inside out of the light; that I got our there, turned my face to the sun, and let myself shine. You caress my stomach, that is no longer flat, and know that I have created new life. You breath into my soul, "you are so beautiful from the inside out and I love you as you are".
Mirror Mirror on the wall, thank you for loving me as I am.