[To listen to an audio version of this blog, please click here: http://bit.ly/2BKOiEE]
Please note: I have used the male pronoun throughout. But this is for women too.
Who do you see when you look in the mirror?
No – it's an honest question.
You see, the person we see in the mirror is not the person other people see when they look at us.
I'll give you an example. A good friend of mine said recently, "I despise the man I see in the mirror."
I was honestly shocked. This man is a single parent of two children with special needs. The choice to have the children was not his, yet he has not walked away from his responsibilities. He is instead, so far as I can see, a wonderful parent. He holds down a full-time job, he pays his taxes. He brings humour, compassion and support to his friends. He has certainly been there for me in my recent dark time.
But the man in his mirror reflects only his inadequacies. The man who stands there, voices those thoughts which should stay decently hidden (although we all have such thoughts). The two-dimensional, cruel reflection mocks him with his failures (although we all have failures: we are human). The glass man does not allow for any kind of frailty. He demands perfection; he demands super powers and dismisses anything less.
The man in the mirror never says, "Well done. Good job. I'm proud of who you are."
In my professional life, part of my job is to help people "bridge the gap" between what they see when they look in the mirror, and what other people see in them.
When we meet someone or, indeed, live with someone – we look at more than the outside; at least we do if we have any intelligence at all. We look within. We get a sense of energy from them, we look into their eyes and attempt to find the person inside. We read the most minute movements they make and automatically decode those movements. We respond to the person inside. So much we do this that sometimes the outside becomes immaterial. It took my friend a week to notice that her husband had shaved off his beard!
My job is to show my clients how to change their outside to more accurately reflect the person within. Now, before I can even start to look at the way they dress, first I must get to know and understand the person inside. That process of understanding often transforms the way my clients view themselves, and always for the better.
So, we need to look at the man on the other side of the glass with new eyes; the eyes of a friend or even a stranger. We need to look at him with compassion.
Look at what he's dealing with. Look at the challenges he faces. Give the guy a break.
If you knew him, you'd both like and admire him – I promise.
So, go on, tell him, "Good job. Well done. I'm proud of who you are."
A Moodscope member.
Login or Sign Up to Comment and Read Comments