Mirrors as Reflections of Life
Have you ever stopped to thank a mirror?
You may not have done so consciously but picture this.
You’re getting ready to go out, maybe to work or maybe you’re going out for dinner. As part of the process you go look in the mirror and you notice a pimple on your chin. Nonchalantly you take care of the matter at hand and continue to get ready and you’re on your way. Some time later you notice someone else that has a pimple on their chin. Would you tell them? Would you want them to tell you? Don’t you somehow feel sorry for that person and wish they could look in a mirror right then so they could see what you see? And for that moment you just might be glad that you had taken the time to look in the mirror when the same situation presented itself to you. And maybe subconsciously you were grateful for your mirror.
Or how about this? I’ve had this happen to me. You’re out for lunch and you’re in a big rush. The hamburger you’re eating tastes amazing even if it is a bit messy. You hurriedly finish it, wipe your mouth and you’re on your way. As you blend into the crowd it seems like people are looking at you funny and you don’t understand why. Then someone finally points out to you that you have a slab of mustard on your chin. At that point you’re probably regretting that you didn’t find a mirror before you left.
How about one more example? Again you’re getting ready to go out. You know that you have a blemish on your cheek so off you go to your mirror and work your magic as best you can. You are so focused at doing a good job on the obvious blemish that you don’t even notice that you also have a stray eyebrow hair that is pointing towards the moon.
These examples may seem a bit odd or they may have actually happened to you. The message is that there is always a mirror for us to see our physical selves. We may choose to look into it or we may choose not to. And when we do look in the mirror, we may see all that is there or we may only see part of the bigger picture. That works great so that we can see what we look like on the outside; wouldn’t it be great if we had a mirror to see what we looked like on the inside?
Well I think we do, and I have read and heard many stories from others that think we do as well. I think that often what we see in others is a reflection of what we see in ourselves, or reflections of something else we need to see.
When my wife was pregnant with our children, I seemed to notice all the young couples where the woman was pregnant and the couples seemed so happy. We were very happy too. Mirrors? I think so. For me personally, I see people delivering TEDx talks or sharing their story with large crowds and I think “that could be me doing that”. Mirrors?
The non-physical mirrors are very much like the physical mirrors. If you start to notice a recurring theme, you have a choice of looking in the mirror or not. And if you do look, you may find out some of your strongest traits and you may also find your traits that you’d like to work on improving. If you look closely you’ll almost surely see something that you need to see, or a reflection of a lesson that you need to learn.
I remember a time in my life where it seemed like nothing I did was good enough. At work there always seemed to be someone asking, “did you think of this?” or “did you try that?” In sports there always seemed to have been someone to suggest there could have been a better result if we had just tried a little harder and somehow it seemed like they were looking at me. Well as I look back now I think the truth is that I was just being hard on myself at that time. For whatever reason I had decided in my own mind that I just wasn’t good enough, and then the message kept repeating itself. The messages from people were reflections of how I was feeling about myself. The truth is that we are all good enough, but for some reason (I wrote about this in my Limiting Beliefs blog) there are times that we convince ourselves differently. I needed to see that I was judging myself harshly and the recurring messages were my opportunity to look inside and reflect on what was happening.
If we go one step further, I think our own words often represent something we need to hear ourselves as well. Here’s an example. As I was writing my blog “Waiting for Something?” last week I was thinking about a couple of my friends as I wrote. They seem to have their own personal success just beyond their immediate grasp and seem a bit slow (my opinion) to take action to move forward. As I wrote, the words just flowed – I could see them clearly in the message I was trying to deliver. My message just might help them to take action, I thought. As I was putting the closing touches on the blog I realized another reason why the words had flowed so smoothly. The message that I was delivering for my friends was also a message for myself. I too was in the habit of waiting for something and not taking action to move myself forward. Those friends I was trying to help were also my mirrors. And at that point, I thanked my mirrors.
As I’m closing this blog, I think that it would be great if we had a universal sign to use so we could tell someone to “look in the mirror”. We could use it for that person with a pimple on their chin or an eyebrow pointing toward the moon. And if someone was trying to give us some helpful advice and we knew they needed to listen to their own words, we could just give them the sign.
So take the time to look into all of your mirrors, you will surely see exactly what you need to see. And maybe you will also thank your mirrors.
If you’d like to share an interesting mirrors story, send it along to [email protected].