Why are all reflections lovelier than what we call reality? -- not so grand or so strong, it may be, but always lovelier? Fair as is the gliding sloop on the shining sea, the wavering, trembling, unresting sail below is fairer still...All mirrors are magic mirrors. The commonest room is a room in a poem when I turn to the glass...There must be a truth involved in it, though we may but in part lay hold of the meaning.
Staring and staring into the mirror, it sees many faces within its face - the face of the child, the boy, the young man, the not-so-young man - all present still, preserved like fossils on superimposed layers, and, like fossils, dead. Their message to this live dying creature is: Look at us - we have died - what is there to be afraid of?It answers them: But that happened so gradually, so easily. I'm afraid of being rushed.
Why on earth do you carry a mirror around with you? It's purely a defensive device. We seldom quarrel, and this is one of the reasons. Can you imagine yourself getting all worked up and contorted and illogical and then coming face to face with yourself, looking at yourself exactly as you look to everyone else?
The leap of faith is this: You have to believe, or at least pretend you believe until you really believe it, that you are strong enough to take life face on. Eating disorders, on any level, are a crutch. They are also an addiction and illness, but there is no question at all that they are quite simply a way of avoiding the banal, daily, itchy pain of life. Eating disorders provide a little drama, they feed into the desire for constant excitement, everything becomes life-or-death, everything is terribly grand and crashing, very Sturm and Drang. And they are distracting. You don't have to think about any of the nasty minutiae of the real world, you don't get caught up in that awful boring thing called regular life, with its bills and its breakups and its dishes and laundry and groceries and arguments over whose turn it is to change the litter box and bedtimes and bad sex and all that, because you are having a real drama, not a sitcom but a GRAND EPIC, all by yourself, and why would you bother with those foolish mortals when you could spend hours and hours with the mirror, when you are having the most interesting sado-machistic affair with your own image?
Look in the mirror. What you see there is what you get from others. When you smile, smile comes back to you. When you get angry, anger comes back to you. When you love, love comes back to you, when you hate, hatred comes back to you.That's very simple. You can make your life however you like by how you behave.