Don Miguel has reminded us often that the mind is a mirror, but it’s good to have that lesson repeated now and then. Let me show you why.
Imagine a place with no mirrors, where you couldn’t see what you look like. Everybody else could see you, and they’d be eager to tell you their version of how you look. The problem is, each version would be different. And because you’d have no way of knowing which version was accurate, you’d believe what everyone told you.
In this present reality, glass mirrors and cameras are a part of everyday life. That doesn’t mean people don’t continue to give you their opinions about your appearance. They do. They’ve been doing it since you were born. And you still believe them.
Chances are, you’re still adjusting your feelings about yourself according to other people’s opinions. This means that, even knowing how you look, you allow the views of others to affect your self-image. And every view is different.
Meanwhile, you’re mirroring everyone else the same way. This is what you learned to do since infancy. You learned to observe and to make judgments. We all judge others in order to feel ‘in control’ or to get an emotional reaction. We often judge them based on how we feel about ourselves. Even without intending to, we distort other people’s view of themselves, just as they do to us.
Actual mirrors are important. They reflect the truth. Light bounces off a glass surface and sends us an impression of what lies outside the mirror. Nothing inside mirror is real, however. It’s a reflection of what’s real. A reflection is not the truth; and even a reflection changes according to the quality of the glass.
Your mind is the ‘glass.’ Its particular version of reality will always be distorted, because all perceptions are modified by your beliefs and emotional responses. We all distort information, then bounce it back to the world.
You may passionately describe what you believe to be true about yourself: “I’m a loser …a winner…an extrovert…a Virgo.” But your impression of yourself never quite reflects the truth. Humans create all kinds of distortions through their assumptions and misinterpretations. We’re all creating our own little mitote, and then broadcasting it out to the world.
A mirror projects its version of whatever exists in front of it. We do the same. Of course, we believe we’re offering uncorrupted information; but we forget to consider how information gets filtered through our learned responses and prejudices.
So, we create animosities where they don’t have to exist. Dreams can be torn apart by messages that carry emotional poison. Let’s face it, nothing good comes from disrespecting other people’s lives. Respect is the most important part of love…but, no one can give what they don’t have, so begin by respecting yourself.
Love yourself as you are. Only those who truly love themselves can reflect real love back to the world. It’s never too late to offer an uncorrupted reflection to the people you love, inspiring them to love themselves a little more. In fact, starting today, try being the best possible mirror for everyone you meet!
With my unending respect,