“You are the mirror and I like what you are reflecting.”
There is a concept in psychology that indicates our interactions and relationships are mirrors reflecting our deepest, perhaps most hidden personality traits, reactions, fears and emotions. If we become aware of this concept we can use our interactions with others to transform our lives.
Think about the last few interactions you had with someone important in your life. Were they positive? Negative? Neutral? How did you feel afterward? The aim is to have no judgement with these questions. They are posed as a tool to begin develop an awareness of what your relationships mirror back to you.
“You are the mirror and I like what you are reflecting.” This thought popped into my mind as outlined this post. I find I am most often inspired to write after an interaction that inspires all sorts of thoughts and reflections about my life, actions and how people respond to me. This is profound because I’ve done a lot of work in the last year to be more aware of what my interactions with others are telling me. It’s a beautiful, powerful and sometimes painfully humbling process.
For awhile I didn’t like what people were reflecting to me. There was a lot of awkwardness, insecurity and lack of connection. So I started making a concentrated effort to be more vulnerable. Small steps. Like telling someone I was feeling tired when they asked my how I was doing instead of just saying fine. The results allowed me to build confidence to be more open with my experiences and my feelings.
Recently, while at a coffee shop working on a freelance design project and old man with a wild beard and disheveled hair asked to share my table. I made room for him but it immediately occurred to me the this might distract me from my work.
A conversation quickly ensued. Eventually, I found my work wasn’t the focus and the conversation was. He asked me about travel and told me about his travel experiences. He had a fairly storied background in design and created some powerful studios in NYC. His stories were engaging. He’s done a lot in his 67 years. It was an entertaining conversation. I didn’t expect anything else.
He then asked to see my palm. I was hesitant. Read VERY hesitant. I not-so-jokingly said “DO NOT tell me anything bad.” To which he responded that anyone that tries to tell you the future is quack and it’s total bullshit. Ok, red flags down.
What he proceeded to do was to hold up a mirror and reflect to me, who I am, verbally. Well, my palm was the mirror. And wow, not only did he know things about my personality that surprised me, what surprised me more was I knew them too. I could tell him he was correct. A year ago we couldn’t have had this interaction because I didn’t know myself well enough to agree or disagree or get what he was saying to me.
Do You Know Yourself?
Would you know yourself well enough to accept or simply negate the observations and statements of a complete stranger? Think about that the next time someone says something that overwhelms you with joy or frustration…
I feel like this conversation was divinely orchestrated to let me know I am on the right path. You know those moments when you are like, ‘Wait, what just happened?’ This was one of those. As I came home and reflected on the kind words he shared with me and how readily I accepted his words as truth was a profound indicator that not only have I found myself. I am in love with myself. Yes, love. Wow.
Cultivating Love of Self
This will forever be a life path I am on, to cultivate that unconditional love for myself and in turn, others. It’s easy to have bad days and become frustrated and hateful to ourselves and inevitably others. In those terms, I promised myself one night last year, that I’d never be alone because I would always have my own back and always assert myself for the most positive outcomes I could have. I didn’t do that before, I relied on other people to look out for me. That works about 30% of the time and when it doesn’t work, boy does it NOT work.
When you come from finding external sources of support 100% of the time and move to supporting yourself in such an empowered, compassionate way, the world changes. Your perspective changes. Life is no longer misery and a struggle because you aren’t battling yourself every step of the way and expecting too much of others. The energy I used to burn battling myself and wanting others to support me, is now free to dream, create and love. That my friends, is that greatest gift I’ve ever given myself and now the light from my mirror is reflecting on all of you.
Love and Light,