Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
by Helen Pratt
One of the very first exercises suggested to me on my journey to freedom was using a mirror. I was to look at myself in the mirror and say “I love you” in my head and even out loud. I was to send love to my reflection every day, several times a day. Wow, what a radical thought! In today’s society most people would call this narcissism and condemn the exercise as very self centered. We are supposed to love others, not fall in love with our own reflection.
My first attempts in loving me in the mirror were very revealing. The whole thing felt awkward. I was very self conscious and uncomfortable, half-laughing and finding all sorts of things in the reflection to criticize. How was I supposed to love what I saw in the mirror if I was observing all those faults and blemishes? Why was I uncomfortable with really looking at myself? And most important of all – why had I never really looked at myself before?
How could such a simple thing cause so much turmoil in my mind? Why could I not love myself? What did I think was wrong with me? The questions revealed things about me and my relationship with my body that I had never been aware of before. Fascinated with my reactions and the feelings that were surfacing, I kept at it. I continued the exercises in spite of, or maybe because of those feelings. I was on an adventure of discovery, and each day offered a new exposure to the truth. The mirror was my source of revelation.
In time I noticed that most of the disturbing feelings and questions were fading when I faced myself in the mirror. Then one day I realized that I was not seeing ‘me’ in the reflection any more. I was seeing a beautiful angel with love in her eyes and joy in her face. How did that happen? When did that happen and why did that happen? Who cares! It happened, and it was perfect, and so was that reflection in the mirror.
Loving yourself is not selfishness. It is the first step toward loving life in all its manifestations. Whenever I look at myself in the mirror now, I see an angel. And when I look in other people’s eyes I see the same angel – this beautiful presence reflected back at me.
What a magnificent awakening to life with such a simple tool. Try looking in the mirror everyday. Begin the great adventure into awareness. Look, let go, and love!