Years ago at a professional conference, the presenter suggested that those we meet in our lives serve as mirrors of ourselves. I was ok with that suggestion until she went further to suggest that even those characteristics we found in others that we disliked were also within us to some degree. After initially resisting the notion that day, I did come around to seeing that she was right.
Over and over again since then, I tend to see new interactions as opportunities to see something new in myself reflected back—good, bad or ugly. I may not always enjoy it, but at least I know there is some opportunity.
The times that get my attention most are when there is a negative characteristic (or forty) being reflected in the mirror. Those seem more obvious in terms of growth opportunities, so naturally I try to look closely at those. I do this by seeking to better understand the human mirror’s negativity, so that I may better understand such a quality in myself.
Then, a few days ago, I had an interesting epiphani-ette. It occurred to me that I rarely notice the positive reflections. I am surrounded by and continue to meet some brilliant, talented and loving humans beings. I celebrate that fact, and am grateful for those within my support system on a daily basis, but it is interesting to me that I never thought about this concept applying to the mirrors.
I call it an epiphani-ette because it wasn’t earth shattering or even memorable when it occurred to me. I thought about it over several days and couldn’t even tell you which day it first occurred to me. Full-blown epiphanies have to be shared immediately with someone, if not here in my blog so it isn’t forgotten or lost!
With this baby epiphany, I hope to start to notice a more balanced mirror image and at least remember that I have as much to grow in recognizing the good characteristics, as I have to grow in the less than stellar ones.