“Your perception of me, is a reflection of you. My reaction to you is an awareness of me.” – Unknown.
What do you do when you look at yourself in the mirror?
Maybe you comb your hair or have a shave. Maybe you brush and floss your teeth. Maybe you correct your posture. Maybe you examine the look in your eyes and evaluate your mood. Perhaps you decide to put on a smile. Either way I’m guessing you pay attention. I’m guessing you take the moment to show yourself some love.
When you smile in the mirror what do you see? Your radiant self of course, but is that all?
Can you see your mum and dad? Your brothers and sisters? Your children and grandchildren? Maybe you can see your friends or strangers you’ve never met. Maybe you can see the eyes of millions, generations long since passed, staring back at you.
Look deeply enough and you’ll see far more than meets the eye.
If we look deeply at others we can also see they reflect the world around them. If you smile at them, they often smile back. And if they don’t, we often drop our own. In this case we become their mirror.
This is something to be aware of.
When we are mindless we become the mirrors of others. When others shout and harden their defences, we often do the same in response. Like a mirror image. So often in arguments you hear two people shouting with neither party listening. They might as well be shouting into a mirror.
It’s worth bearing in mind that people don’t just act like mirrors to other people, they often reflect the way the world has treated them. If the world stopped paying attention to them, they may reflect a lack of interest. If it treated them harshly they might act out in kind. The behaviours of someone often mirror something well beyond the person they’re interacting with.
This is something else to be aware of.
This is one reason why we shouldn’t take what others have to say so personally. Why we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. It’s also worth remembering that other people’s behaviour doesn’t reflect in you unless you let it. Unless you act mindlessly.
On the flip side when we are mindful, we can influence what others reflect back at us and the wider world. When we are mindful we can disarm the anger thrown at us. When we are mindful we can stand firm and make sure all that is reflected is love and kindness. It is when others are feeling the most pain and at their most vulnerable, that we have the best opportunity to act as mirrors to the good that exists in all of us.
I believe we should pay the same care and attention we do ourselves in the mirror, to all those we encounter. Show them the same level of love. Maybe don’t start flossing their teeth, of course, but show them kindness all the same. The kindness and love they need. That we all do.
Ultimately showing love and kindness to others is one of the greatest acts of self love. This is because, if you look deeply enough, you’ll see that person is you. And you are them. As one.
It’s nice when we see ourselves smiling isn’t it?
(Thanks for reading everyone. I’m curious, do you believe our inner world is reflected back at us? Do you believe the outer world reflects our inner turmoil? Are our perceptions of others merely a reflection of ourselves? Please let us know below.)
You can find more of AP2’s writing here at: https://pointlessoverthinking.com