Thursday, July 28, 2011

Trusting the clarity of the mirror

She looks at me with disgust as I refuse to do what she says.

I look at her with disgust as she demands me to give.

The thoughts that arise from the dispute are meaningless rationalizations that only serve to empower the feelings of righteousness and contempt. Thoughts like:

She is so ungrateful.
She is so spoiled.
She is so lazy.
She is so weak.
She is so incapable of happiness.

Simultaneously, she has a volley of negative thoughts toward me.

He is so lazy.
He is so inconsiderate.
He is so weak.
He is overly sensitive.
He is so selfish.

We are reflecting each other's negativity. We don't see the hall of mirrors, only the infinitely reflecting images of hate.

Until now.

Others are just perfect mirrors of ourselves. Paradoxically, we are perfect mirrors for others, even though as the subject in the experience, we must think of ourselves as the generators of the image, not the mirror. In other words, when I look at others, I see only my reflection, me in turn being any image I dream up in that moment. There may be some artifacts in the reflection, like the right and left sides being reversed, but the underlying relationship is the same. For example, if I hate being told what to do, what I see in the other person won't necessarily be disobedience. It would most likely be bossiness.

As we are but mirrors, if we want to see a better picture, we must be that picture first. This requires thorough trust that the other will mirror it back to us because we don't want to waste energy projecting for nothing. Unfortunately, we think their image is coming at us from outside us; the mirror analogy is too much a leap of faith. They are independently mean and selfish, and so I must defend myself or avoid them. In so doing, I lose the opportunity to change a part of myself that would've benefited from the feedback.