I got “sugared” for the first time yesterday. It’s an alternative to wax and is supposed to be more gentle for those who breakout after waxing, especially on the lip. I am one of those people who breakouts in disgusting herpes-like sores on my lip after forcefully ripping out my mustache. It even happened the week of my wedding. Awful. Anyway, when I got to the sugaring place, my esthetician told me I had no hairs to sugar off. I reassured her, I indeed did. She went on to tell me I have “little kitten hairs, like we all do.” Not sure what this means, kitten hairs. Kittens are pretty furry. I digress. She went ahead with the sugaring process while telling me about Jason Sudeikis’ penis and how huge it is. Apparently, it was in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I don’t remember, and she couldn’t believe I couldn’t remember it. While I was laying on the table, mumbling “mhms” and “oh yeahs?” and some “hahas” for good measure, I was thinking about her comment about not having hair to wax off. And I realized, yet again, that what we focus on becomes our reality. Because I was aware, (nay, self-conscious!) of my “kitten hairs,” they became my reality. Regardless of what others’ experience of my mustache may be, I experience it to be true. I wonder how many places in my life this happens? Times in which, because of my own lived experiences, my perspective of a situation is vastly different than anyone else’s when placed in the “same situation.” But could any of these situations really be the same if everyone is viewing everything through the lens of their own lived and felt experiences? I’ve heard before that eye witness testimonies tend to be the least reliable for this reason. We see what we believe. And even though there may be 10 people who saw a crime happen, every statement will be different because of the beliefs formed (knowingly or unknowingly) due to their life experiences. I find this idea to be really powerful; it means that once I am aware of a held belief, I have the ability to change it, thus influencing changing what I see. I choose my thoughts moment to moment and my brain will do its little brain thing to help me confirm what I choose to think. It’s called confirmation bias. There are some beliefs that serve us and support us. There are also beliefs that are detrimental to our mental health and to the lives of others. Regardless of what “kind” of belief, the brain will find the evidence to support those beliefs! So maybe my belief about my mustache breakout isn’t how terrible it is that I have a mustache. It goes deeper. It’s the belief that I am not beautiful because I have a man mustache and women aren’t supposed to have mustaches! The belief I am now choosing is “Owning my imperfections makes me uniquely beautiful.” And so the work of self-compassion and giving myself grace continues.