Vanity

I’m over weight, grey haired and the bloom of youth has long gone.

I am also, tall, slimmer than I used to be having lost 10 kg in recent months, and my body is tanned as a result of days spent on holiday in the sunshine.

One day, last week in the full knowledge that I was being observed by my wife from our bed, I stood in front of the full length mirror in our bedroom, suited and booted for work and I said aloud “William, you look amazing”

This tendency to vanity within me, is a bit of an act, I know my limitations, but in fact I also know that I was speaking the truth.

Vanity, is not a quality to be generally admired, but as I reflected on my words in the mirror in respect of my appearance as I drove to work, I could not help but be pleased that I looked physically well, I have lost weight, my clothes hang on me better, and my tanned face and short cut grey hair look distinguished.

Why then can I not be satisfied, at least for a few moments in the joy of my vanity?

The answer is, I can, so long as I also appreciate that true vanity comes from an appreciation of self from the inside.

It is inner vanity which enables the self to appreciate our own reflection in the mirror, and it has very little to do with weight loss, suntan or the clothes we wear.

It comes from having come to terms with who we are, so that we are no longer afraid to say to self, as if to a reflection in a mirror “You’re amazing”

William Defoe