February 10, 2013

                                              Life's Mirrors

     Life mirrors are everywhere and are the single most powerful reflections we have of ourselves. Frequently we deny any resemblance when faced with our reflection in another person’s behavior which, we judge negatively, but look a little closer and you might just see yourself.

     Don’t recoil and shake your head saying, “No, no I am nothing like that!” while holding your hand aloft to block the image staring back at you. Lean in and consider, am I in there?

     When do we know that we are staring into the face of universal likeness? The answer is simple, when we judge it. We see ourselves in everyone we know and those we don’t know too! Our most common image is delivered by family members. Oh boy, I can already hear the groaning.  

     The behavior we shrink away from holds some truth for us and an opportunity to heal our judgment. Life mirrors aren't always an exact replication of ourselves but, rest assured, we are in there.

          For instance, seeing someone lie might rub us the wrong way so we reject the person who lies perceiving that they can’t be trusted. I’m not suggesting you’re a liar but perhaps you are dishonest with yourself in some way or you've been dishonest in the past and have not forgiven yourself? Or say someone you love can be nasty and disrespectful; again maybe you’re neither of those things to others, is it possible that your inner-voice can be self-punishing and lack self-respect?

     There are those reflections that are like a fun-house mirror revealing a distorted version of ourselves. In those cases, the likeness we see can be an overstated version of a carefully hidden behavior or fear that we harbor which is reflected in a grossly inflated manner so that we can see it more clearly. Exaggerated mirror images can be harder to figure out.

     A complete stranger exploded in anger toward me one afternoon and I thought “wow, what an angry person” and my inner voice said “what are you angry about? Where do you hide your furry?” My initial response was “I’m not angry with anyone.” When I looked more closely within, I found that I was perturbed and I hadn't acknowledged it. I realized the woman was holding up a giant mirror for me to see my own unresolved issue. Cool right?

     In that case the mirror was straight forward but they aren't always so clear. What we can be sure of is that our reflections are everywhere shining back at us through others and if we stop judging them, we have an opportunity to learn and grow. For me, mirrors are an interesting way to see myself and what’s hidden just beneath the surface and I’m grateful for the chance to see my own unique reflection.