Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Miracle of Mirrors

I often write about friendship because I have such an intense respect for its purpose and its capacity. When we feel inadequate friends reassure us. When we fail to focus friends nudge us in the right direction. When we become overly impressed with ourselves friends usher in balance. Through the eyes of a true friend we can see a complete depiction of ourselves.

Mirrors are a wonderful invention. They allow us to examine ourselves for imperfections. They help us to see what is missing, excessive, and out of place. Our friendships also serve the same function as mirrors. Our collective choice of friends reflect characteristics of ourselves, but individually, our friends reveal what we fail to closely inspect. Friends can point out the parts of our lives that we unconsciously miss or intentionally avoid.

Over the years I became extremely good at dodging difficult questions. I didn’t consider it lying because my answers were truthful. Yet, my truthful answers they left out more than they revealed and most people were satisfied with my elusive replies. A serious issue developed because I started to believe my scripted responses. My belief impacted my behavior. I said certain areas weren’t a problem so I stopped working through them. Progress halted. Only the mirrors in my life have challenged me and pressed for more than what I was willing to openly give. I felt uncomfortable being challenged, but growth develops after evaluation and evaluation requires a close look into the areas of our lives that are hidden, deficient, and faulty.

When your actions and approaches are challenged by those who genuinely see you, consider the intent and potential impact before you emotionally shut down. Assess the motive behind the probe. If it’s coming out of love and in the spirit of authentic concern then try to focus on the message instead of how uncomfortable the message made you feel.

Life’s largest lessons force you to question the mantras you’ve relied on for years. Growth can be painful. Cleansing your soul can be upsetting. We need our friends—our mirrors—not only to get through these difficult periods, but also to even begin the process of self reflection. Mirrors were created to aid with examination and to reflect light. Allow the mirrors in your life to help you examine yourself so that you can fully reflect the light within.

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