Mirror, mirror on the wall…
When we look in a mirror, the physical reality is that we see our selves reflected back—a mirror image of what we look like—but in truth, our perception of ourselves can be wildly different. Anais Nin once wrote, “we do not see things as they are, we see them as we are”. This holds true for how we in fact do perceive ourselves, and the world around us, and the good news is everything we see and encounter has valuable merit. The world is YOUR mirror.
Wikipedia explains that Perception (from the Latin perceptio, percipio) is the process of attaining awareness of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information.
For instance… Biology 101:
Vision involves light striking the retinas of the eyes, hearing involves pressure waves; smell is mediated by odor molecules; touch involves our skin, our nervous system, namely Meissner’s corpuscles, which are receptors/nerve endings in the skin (hey, you never know when that will come up in a game of Trivial pursuit or on Jeopardy). But perception is not the passive receipt of signals. Perception is shaped by learning, memory and expectation. And very often the process itself happens outside our conscious awareness.
We come with baggage (and I do not mean that in a negative sense), we come with a past, events throughout our lives have influenced and molded us and we perceive ourselves through these means. When we gaze at ourselves, we see our flaws; the choices we have made that brought us to where we are; our hopes and fears; events that affected us, changed us. Sometimes our perception of ourselves is askew because of its subjectivity—and we see ourselves as we think we are.
We are influenced every day; by our families, loved ones, work colleagues…our very environment shares itself with us. Every moment is of value, even when it seems contrary to the fact—when we are learning, we are also teaching—and awaking this consciousness can bring you everyday miracles.
We are all a part of a system of reflection, guiding us towards truly seeing ourselves and breaking the illusion of who we think we are, or have to be, so we can become the greatest version of ourselves.
What’s in your bag? Does it warrant unpacking—some reflective introspection?
What’s your world showing you? Certain encounters with people—they’re telling you something and they’re worth cluing into—we are surrounded by mirrors! And not just the physical ones made of glass, but the people in our lives are our mirrors.
Often we judge or assign harsh criticisms to others, when really they are merely a reflection of what we should strive to change in ourselves. The relationship that we have with ourselves has everything to do with the relationship we have with others and vice versa. We teach people how to treat us, and we treat people how we want to be treated. How do you think people should treat you?
Sometimes everything we see reflected back at us reminds us of our troubles or things we feel are flawed. Some of these worries are healthy, some not so. Kabbalah teaches that nothing we see is a coincidence. Everything—particularly a negative event—has a reason and a purpose. The point is to see everything that happens in the world as a purposeful signal sent to us from the Creator to assist in our transformation.
Many of us are aware of the idea that when we look negatively at other people the chances are that we possess those negative attributes within ourselves, which affords us the chance to become aware of them and work towards change. But the same holds true for the positive aspects you see in other people, too.
You will recognize aspects of peoples’ personalities, which you see in yourself; things you may seem attracted to and/or admire in people are the things that you have the potential to be! You admire someone strong who goes after what they want, although fear may be in your driver’s seat. You have the potential to be that strong and go after what you truly desire, too.
Just remember that comparing ourselves to others can be a sabotaging, negative use of time if we get caught up in feeling less than them or overwhelmed by who they are, or their successes. Remember to hold off on expectations. When we learn to trust ourselves completely we no longer feel paralyzed and demoralized in comparison to someone who we may “think” is smarter, funnier, more attractive, has more money than you, a better job or a bigger house.
Remember that comparing ourselves to others is only useful to help motivate, inspire and empower us.
Be aware of how you focus your energy, and learn how to make the things that plague you, or seem challenging for you, work FOR you by channeling your ambition—worry (done the right way!) can be a productive problem-solving technique. Learn to trust yourself by listening to your intuition and start tapping into the everyday clues, whispers and mirrors around you.
- Your consciousness is key. How do you perceive yourself?
- Are you carrying excess baggage?
- Is that hindering the way you present yourself to the world?