Last week, I touched on the notion of judgment and the problematic of having repeated critics towards others and us. We judge when something annoys or disturbs us, either because it challenges our own point of view, either because we try to be socially accepted as we identify ourselves with certain values and thoughts that are different from what we judge. Regarding our critics, I suggested to learn to observe and recognize when we are judging, in order to shift our thoughts towards something more positive.
A way to recognize limiting thoughts, and to grow awareness, is the mirror effect. To illustrate what it is, let’s put ourselves in a situation. There is surely someone in your environment that annoys you. Without a clear reason or even without any historic with that person, there is something that you keep stepping on. It might be regarding that person’s behaviours, life choices, appearance, etc. Whatever it is, it awakes a feeling in you that you don’t like. You are probably experiencing the mirror effect. This person embodies something that you don’t allow yourself to be or do, and instead you judge her/him. Or even maybe, this person is acting exactly like you, but you don’t realize it.
It is not easy to find what needs to be identified, but as a starting point, rather than looking at what is different, I find interesting to seek what this person is awakening in myself. I don’t believe in chance. I think we attract the lessons we have to learn, even though not every learning opportunity is taken.
In this point of view, everything is connected and things happen for a reason. Therefore, it is interesting to imagine that every person is behaving towards you, usually without being aware of it, in resonance with your energy of the moment. Isn’t in difficult times that the worst things happen one after the other? What if others were testing you? What if their actions were emotion or thought triggers? Have you noticed that most of the time, when you don’t like someone, without any specific reason, this person doesn’t like you either? However, when you overcome that feeling, you find out how similar both of you actually are.
By looking in the inner self what resists in the outer self, we might realize how our outer world is the reflection of our inner world. This is why it is important to understand our thoughts and reactions. I like the idea of an inner garden that flourishes outwards of us. Each person is free to ignore this inner garden and to let it grow chaotically. But no one is spared of what happens in the outer world.
To illustrate this, I would like to share with you a situation that I experienced and what happened after I changed my attitude towards myself. Many times, in the various elementary and high schools I went to I was bullied. From my part, there was no reason why someone I barely knew would call me all kinds of horrible names and mocked me. My father had taught me if I get hit on the left cheek, to present the right one. It just made things worst as people were taking advantage of my silence. When I reached adulthood, it didn’t improve. The words were subtler, but not less painful. It was so unfair. I hadn’t done anything wrong to deserve the bullying and because I hadn’t done anything, I didn’t know what to do to stop experiencing that type of intimidation. When it happened at work, with my boss, I tried to escape the situation without facing it. I was about to get fired at the end of the week for something she did and I decided to leave right away instead. For the first time, I chose to stand for myself, knowing that my boss needed me and would probably change her mind about firing me. I felt free and relieved. Since that event, nobody has disrespected me, but also I often have the impression that I’m more respected than other people around me. It is like if by choosing to respect myself, it was heard by all; they had to respect me. When, earlier, it was the opposite. Not respecting myself equals in people not respecting me.
I like to think that we grow collectively and that sometimes, we play roles in other people’s life that help to enlighten their limitations. It is not always nice roles to play. Also, we tend to project how we feel on others. For example, we’ll see exhaustion on someone’s face when we are tired. Other people are somehow another version of us. The question is, what do we have to learn from this, but love?
Have you heard of this idea of mirror effect before? Have you used it to enlighten some aspects of your own personality? Why not give it a try?
To help you in your thinking, I invite you to use the following picture as a starting point for meditation.
Paix et lumière
Featured Painting of the Week: Meditation Tool 400-280717
This painting measuring 400 mm x 400 mm can be hung in the four directions. It is filled with colours and movement! The multitude of sceneries that it holds offers a multitude of starting point to meditate on. Each day, it will reveal new information. You will discover new visual elements over time, and slowly, it will become familiar.
Acting like a mirror, the sceneries it will unfold will become yours and you will learn more about yourself in this process of observation!
It is suggested to free space around this painting.
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