September 28, 2015

Mirror, Mirror: We See What We Want to See.


I’m having a bit of a moment with mirrors, as of late.

Not just the tall rectangular glass frames, but mostly the living, breathing, human kind of self reflectors.   

The kind that show you what you see in yourself, whereby what you choose to accept from them.

The kinds of things that people say, because of their own fear, reality, projections and emotions, that triggers something in me, because of my own fear, reality, projections and emotions.

Someone says something about my kids’ behavior? It might be wrong and entirely off putting, but on some level, I’m taking it as a condemnation of my parenting.

If I receive a text about something that clearly has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the sender, and it lands with me because I’ve been there, I’ve done that—I’ve sent that message.

I see this showing up in passive aggressive language—“Perhaps you should…”  In false apologies—“I’m sorry you were upset…” In defensive, lengthy explanations of actions—“Because, I had to, and then, it really was…” I hear it in massive over-generlizations and hyperboles—“You always…you never…every time.”

Deflection. Refusal of responsibility. Blame shifting. Doubt.

If I’d never engaged in that kind of behavior, I wouldn’t likely be able to see it. If I wasn’t hyper aware of my own reactions, I wouldn’t care to observe my trigger points and response.

What others say to us, and we hear, acknowledge, and choose to agree and align with, is really what we already have seen in ourselves. What we dread hearing is the validation of our own fear, pain, and guilt, no matter how deeply it may lay below the ego’s surface.

We are quick to anger at assignment of blame, and yet, the ire truly lies with us, at ourselves, and in our own examination of the threat of truth.

What does this boil down to, exactly? Everything we say and do is really about us. Always. On some level, it’s about us. And, thereby, it is difficult to bear witness to our own inner turmoil in the face and words of others.  

The degrees of separation between words, intent, and shared understanding are subtle, and easily confused. We take most everything personally, even when we know better.

The shift, however starts within.

Each time we connect, we have the choice to be real. to say what we really mean, to ask what we really want answered, to hear what’s really being said, and to make meaning in and of our own reality.

The more transparent we are in our own speech, the clearer the messages we receive will be. The more aligned our actions are with our beliefs, the more able we are to stand in our own truth and not be swayed.

It matters how you show up, every time. 

See clearly who and what you are, and more accurately your mirrors will project your reality.

Take this concept to work. To relationships. To the grocery store clerk. What you hear is what you listen for, and how you respond is what determines the outcome.

Your choice.

It’s your choice to accept the claim, or not. If you don’t want that theme in your story, don’t let the words touch your page.

Look in the mirror, and scan to see what’s real and true for you. Notice when someone else starts to crowd the image with their own agenda, and step back from the smudges.

It’s your mirror. Choose what’s in it.  



All the Cheese, None of the Whine. How to Free Yourself from a Culture of Complaint.

Author: Michelle Sweezey

Editor: Travis May

Image: Flickr/Jaume Escofet

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