Blogging · ROMP: Elegant Kink · SL Survival Guide

172. How to… smile at your reflection in the mirror.

It’s inevitable. There you are, minding your own business and fawning over the latest release at Salt&Pepper or any number of brands in Second Life that make us question our definitions of wants vs. needs, and it happens:

Hi there! Nice avatar! I’m new to this game and could use 278 of those Linden things, the passcode for your bank accounts, and the blood of your first born…

I’m sure many of us navigate our day in Second Life diverting random compliments or sad attempts at flirtation from complete strangers. Usually, those don’t come with a beg for lindens attached, but our friend Kevin’s compliments always have strings, so he doesn’t count, does he? Still, I figured he’d be a good example to use, because today, we’re going to talk about strings. Strings, as you may well be aware, can do many things. They can tie things together, or remind you of things you’ve forgotten just in time to avoid losing all feeling in your finger, for example. But strings can also be bad. There’s a lot of strings, sometimes. They’re attached to people, to compliments, to expectations, and unfortunately – in some cases – to love.

And these sorts of strings… they make you doubt yourself. They make you question everything you thought you knew. And if you dangle from them long enough, there will come a day when you will try to look at yourself in the mirror and realize that you don’t recognize the person staring back at you. The reflection in the mirror is a complete stranger, and you? You’re a ghost. A human shell that used to be you at some point, and somehow lost yourself along the way trying to sort through the labyrinth of it all. You can’t take a compliment, you don’t remember what it feels like to have people around you who know you…

After all, how would they? You don’t even know yourself anymore, right?

And sometimes, this can spiral. When we can’t recognize ourselves, how are we supposed to form meaningful relationships with anyone?

The thing is: we can’t.

In my case, I spent so long trying to make sure I didn’t create waves for other people and salvage friendships that were wholly one-sided that I almost lost myself in the process. I couldn’t recognize myself anymore, and when I finally found the strength to break away from it all, the simplest things seemed foreign to me, and the world was this scary new place where no one knew me as anything but a face in the crowd. And when I started making new friends, I even questioned that at first. What do they really want with me? When they say this, do they really mean it, or is it going to come back to bite me later? Is this really okay? Do they really want to get to know me, or do I need to douse myself in sugar and spice and everything nice and hope for the best?

When you find people like that – people who want to see the real you – who celebrate you for all of your you-ness, broken pieces and all, it’s like waking up out of a deep sleep, or tasting a strawberry for the first time, or flipping through the channels on the television and stopping for a moment just to smile because your favorite movie from childhood is staring at you from the other side of the screen and you just can’t help but smile. It’s like suddenly, you are free, and suddenly, the world becomes a completely different place full of wonder and possibilities… a world where you can look yourself in the mirror and smile back at your reflection, and maybe even give her a little wink of encouragement from time to time, too.

All it really takes is being yourself. While that can sometimes be a bit easier said than done, it’s the ticket. Be yourself – the most honest and true version of you – and the people who truly appreciate you are going to be drawn to that light.

Credits:

[Shape]mine
[Head][LeLUTKA]Irina 2.5
[Body][The Shops]Legacy Mesh Body Special Edition (1.3)
[Skin][Go&See]Hope (Buff)
[Hair][Tram]J0324 (hud C)
[Eyebrows][Gloom. @ ROMP]Lexi Perfect Brow
[Lips][Velour @ Cosmopolitan]Gabriella Lips (pack 4)
[Face][Izzie’s]I’m not feeling very well
[Outfit][Salt&Pepper @ Equal10]Etienne lingerie

[Pose][Bittersweet+Strange]Mirror 3 ***coming soon***
[Backdrop][MINIMAL]bedroom selection

[Tune][Fleurie – There’s a Ghost]

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