By Diana Renee Williams
We all spend time each day looking into a mirror. It is usually the first thing we do as part of our morning routine. Some spend hours while some take a quick look, pat down their unruly hair and walk away.
What do you see when you look into the mirror? Gray hair, wrinkles or a new pimple? Dark circles, muffin top or another inch of fat? When we look into the mirror, all of our physical flaws are on display indicating a deeper truth about ourselves.
Signs of aging, not eating the right foods and pulling “all nighters” will manifest itself through our physical appearance? The mirror doesn’t lie. It doesn’t dance around the truth or spare our feelings. It will come right out and expose the truth, making harsh suggestions on where improvements need to be made.
The mirror forces us to face the truth. We can take measures to cover up and adjust our mask but the truth remains. We can walk away from the mirror but we can’t walk away from the truth.
In psychology, the term “mirroring” is defined as the behavior in which one person copies another person usually while in social interaction with them. Mirroring may include miming gestures, expressions and breathing patterns. We mirror while still yet in the womb.
Although we are oblivious to the fact we do this, we mirror each other as a way of bonding, being accepted and creating rapport.
Just as a mirror shows us our physical reality, our relationships often show us our emotional reality. Our families, friends and romantic partners all mirror back to us who we are and often a reflection of what is going on inside of us. Those that we are the most emotionally invested in will show us our true emotional appearance.
By looking at the people in our life, we can tell a lot about ourselves. Our relationships are closely linked to our unconscious and unresolved issues. Our relationships often allow us the opportunity to see the dirt on our own face and find the speck in our own eye.
When we see traits in other people that evoke feelings of anger, annoyance or hatred we may be seeing reflected back at us parts of ourselves that we have disowned. This may be the reason it affects us in such a negative way. It is magnified and screaming out larger than life begging for our attention.
If we are disgusted by someone else’s “filthy habits” or “wicked conduct” then chances are we have something being triggered inside of us that needs our attention.
This does not necessarily mean that the loud cackling witch sitting beside us at the restaurant is reflecting our inner cackling witch (although it could be) it may mean that she is showing us the parts of ourselves that have been quiet, shy and boring for too long.
We also unknowingly serve as a mirror for others too. Our teachers are not aware they are holding the mirror up in front of us, showing us the fragmented and broken pieces of ourselves.
These truths are revealed not to shame or condemn us but to edify and bring balance in our lives. It is through our personal relationships with others that we are given a glimpse of our true inner selves and see what we still have to learn.
This emotional mirror will keep showing up until we see what we need to see. We can try to avoid a particular person and hope our life will become better without them in it but it does not work that way. We attract partners with similar issues repeatedly. If we get away from a person without learning what we need to learn, it will show up again and again.
Also, as we learn what we need to learn our mirrors will change so that we are constantly evolving to our best selves.
On the flip side, the emotional mirror also works with people who have qualities that we admire. When we see beauty, divinity, and sweetness in others we are also seeing the reflection of the goodness in our own soul.
The closer you get to the mirror, the more you will see. Aim to reflect your light in a way that captures your good side and brings out the best in others.
“What angers us in another person is more often than not an unhealed aspect of ourselves. If we had already resolved that particular issue, we would not be irritated by its reflection back to us.”–Simon Peter Fuller