Seeing Your Reflection

Seeing Your Reflection
by Starcat

In our reactions to the world, we can often catch a glimpse of our own reflection. We see, in our responses to others’ actions and words, some part of our own personality. By looking mindfully at our reactions, particularly those that are intense or vehement, we reveal wisdom about ourselves that we can then use to become more compassionate, kinder, and more authentic.

These reflections can show us our similarities or illuminate our opposites. For example, if you have a friend who complains endlessly, it might annoy you and make you wish she would just stop. Pause for a moment and examine what your reaction points to in your own behavior. Do you complain a lot? Is there a particular part of your life that you complain about? Do you feel powerless? Go deeper, and see if you wish that you could transform those complaints into action to change your situation.

Conversely, your friend’s complaints might show you how your own behavior is opposite to hers. Do you wish you felt free to share your displeasure? Do you play the martyr, not letting yourself acknowledge uncomfortable situations? Are you wishing your friend would stop complaining because you feel like you don’t have that freedom in some part of your own life?

When you notice yourself having a strong reaction to any situation, pause to go within and see how the experience is reflected within you. It doesn’t have to be something you find challenging. Perhaps you’re excited and happy for an acquaintance whose art has just been selected for a prestigious exhibit. Even then, stop and see where you relate to those energies. What part of you are you celebrating? How is your own talent being recognized, or how can you take steps to make it happen?

Practice examining the reflections, noticing how what you see in the world reveals new things about your own life. Don’t worry that you’ll become selfish or narcissistic. We are all connected and the faces we show each other help us grow, both individually and collectively. When you become more aware of how you attract the messages you need, you’ll be more conscious of what you in turn share with others. You’ll feel compassion for your friend’s complaints, giving her the listening ear she needs. You might send a bouquet of flowers or a card to the successful artist. As you look deeply within, you’ll find the healing you seek and more love that you can share with the world.