Can you imagine a house without a mirror? Of all the things emblematic of a “home”: laughter, joy, people, pictures, etc., not once do we identify the mirror as an integral component. Yet, it’s the one place, among others, where we seek our life’s truth.
What really happens when you face the mirror?
No, I’m not referring to that time you used the shampoo bottle as your microphone to accept a lifetime achievement award or shook a leg to Beyonce’s latest hit. Perchance, if there is something we check more than our phones, it is our reflection - yet how many of us barely make it to a mirror in the morning before we point a flaw? Let's take something as mundane as waking up to illustrate this:
It’s a Monday morning and you spring out of bed with renewed vigor as your alarm sounds. You hardly notice the snooze button , you’re so thrilled to begin the new day! You hum your way to the restroom and look in awe at your mirror, acknowledging the magnificence that resides within. JUST KIDDING.
Here’s how it really goes, for most of us, anyway:
Your alarm sounds, much to your distaste, and you grudgingly reach for the snooze button on your phone. Snooze and repeat a few more times and you’re finally ready to be up. In your somnolent state your mind is already reeling with outstanding tasks to complete. The toothpaste has hardly begun to foam around your teeth before you point a flaw at the mirror. We carry a thousand voices inside our heads and look expectantly at our reflection, for we’re always told that a mirror never lies. Let’s challenge that, shall we? Let’s begin by answering the following question:
Do you like what you see or do you see what you like?
Depending on your answer to the question above, you actively create your reality. Give yourself a moment to reread that question once again.
The simple answer to that question? Perception, or the lack of it, is everything.
Allow me to explain…
If you fall into the former category of looking into the mirror and then deciding whether you like what you see (majority of us fall into this category), chances are your thoughts are self critical in that you actively seek things to improve upon. The mirror, for these people, becomes a tool of self criticism, for there is always something to enhance. If you fall into the latter category of choosing to focus on those facets that you like, your thoughts are that of self appraisal; you focus on the positive and seek to embrace yourself as you are (the minority fall into this category, as unconditional love toward self is rare).
Sad, isn’t it, how our internal dialogue is far from constructive. Contingent upon the person looking into the mirror, the thoughts are either self destructive or self constructive. Seeing is believing, that’s what we’re told anyway, but do we truly see or do we merely look when we face the mirror?
Therefore, perception, or the lack of it, is everything!
If you look closely enough, you witness not one but two images: the external perception of you, that which society recognizes in the physical realm, versus the real you, the child buried within that seeks appraisal and approval. You may champion the world, yet your mirror is the junction where you truly face yourself, physically and mentally. When the external veneer falls before the mirror, it’s you versus you. It’s also the corner where you internalize what you see.
If the act of frequently checking the mirror is associated with narcissism, why is the word “reflect” used to embody introspection and self examination? Perhaps because the mirror can be far from superficial if utilized for self empowerment.
Equipped with this knowledge, which category will you choose to fall under the next time you stare into the mirror?