Mirror, mirror on the wall ~ reflecting on failings
I don’t like mirrors much. I suspect not many honest people do. Mirrors are unforgiving. They don’t airbrush out the bags under your eyes. They don’t show only your good side.
But they’re useful. They tell you when it’s time to deal with the caterpillar eyebrows and when you really do have spinach caught between your teeth. They also tell you what you have been denying, that the ten pounds you put on over winter are showing up even when you wear baggy sweaters and suck your tummy in all the time.
Mirrors are honest. They don’t try and gild the stark truths. They show us things as they are, in the worst possible light. There’s no nasty surprises after that.
Except there are.
Other people can be mirrors too, you see. It’s a well-known phenomenon that what we dislike in others is what we loathe in ourselves or fear may be true but rarely become conscious enough of to recognise. You can see a lot of it on social media, people bemoaning the activities and attitudes of others in such vitriolic terms that sometimes seem disproportionate to the offence (if offence it actually is). Now not everything is a mirror but sometimes it is. How we react to another person may well be a reaction to something within ourselves.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone where it feels as if they’re not talking to you, or responding to your actual words? The chances are they’re not. They may actually be talking (or shouting) to themselves.
It’s worth remembering the magic mirror in all interactions. It might clarify a lot of exchanges.
Intriguing ideas on the shadow as a mirror, and nowled me over since the mirror image has been on my mind a lot lately. (Synchronicity at work again maybe?) as I’m in the throes of re-writing my next book and my main character has a lot of difficulties with her ‘mirror self’. Thank you for a very stimulating read over my morning coffee. Also feeling very autumnal and elemental here which always gets my motivation going. Have a lovely day : )
I’ve been thinking about this myself lately. Whenever I get hung up on someone, whether in a good or bad way, there always seems to be something I’m trying to tell myself.
I think it all depends on people’s agendas. Sometimes they answer with a seemingly unconnected anecdote about themselves as a sort of cathartic verbal brain storming of their own issues. I, ahem, think we’re probably all guilty of that sometimes – although some more than others! I have more of a problem of talking with someone who feels they can text, check their phone at the same time aaarrrrgggg. I have been known to stop talking mid sentence and see if they notice… Mind you I can go on a bit 🙂