The mirror- no not the newspaper but the one we need to look into sometimes to see the our true reflection. Sometimes we are brave enough to look into it ourselves and occasionally others hold one up to show us who we are, or we hold up for them.
When we hold the mirror up to and for ourselves we are usually in a place where we are ready for what we see, that doesn’t mean we like it, appreciate it or want to believe it but at least we are in control. On the occasions the mirror is held up for us we can react badly because we don’t like what we see, we aren’t ready or prepared to hear it or it is said with intent to wound.
The mirror exercise should be one of self discovery, personal development, enlightenment, fun, learning to not take yourself too seriously, a reality check or to tell yourself how far you’ve come and praise the person you see within the reflection. If you are holding up the mirror for another (and by the way this is a courageous thing to do) you should be holding it up with intent to heal, to grow, to show that person what they are worth and never to belittle, put down or destroy them.
Do others comments reverberate with you, making you angry, disappointed, frustrated, sad? Firstly check their intent. Are they people you trust, care for, who love you and want the best for you? If not walk away, you don’t need their put downs and probably won’t take notice anyway. If they are honest, truthful, caring and it’s about you and not their ego then listen carefully and internalise their words. If you are reacting badly and you trust them it’s probably because their words ring true. It’s a hard truth.
In the last five years I have been shown myself in the mirror and also (eventually) looked myself. Neither made me comfortable, neither were pleasant at the time, both were upsetting in their own ways and both helped me grow and be a better person. It’s a tough process but remember out of it there is something quite beautiful. A transformation, a metamorphosis; call it what you will. In time you will look just to say “wow you are amazing and I love you”.