While catching up with a dear friend the other day, I found myself grousing about someone we both know. At almost the same moment, we looked at each other and nodded in recognition that the "issue" at hand was much more about me than our friend. The reminder I evoke is the phrase "mirror, mirror" from the story of Snow White.
Remember how the Evil Queen would receive an answer she didn't like? -- an answer that was accurate, yet infuriating for her? We're much the same way, when confronted with an example of our "lesser selves".
Anytime we're emotionally charged by a person, situation, or behavior, it's not really about them. It's about us. Invariably, what we're being presented with is an aspect of ourselves that we aren't aware of, don't like, or have disowned.
Using a textured situation as a mirror doesn't negate the impact of it, nor does it excuse or condone it. It does, however, allow us the chance to do a bit of healing. The very fact that we're part of the exchange affects the situation. We all bring several layers to any given moment.
So when you find yourself being less than charitable, look to Your Self and access the power of "Mirror, Mirror":
When you're impatient with the time it's taking for a checkout line to move—are you really impatient with yourself for procrastinating and not completing something that's been lingering too long?
When you're upset with your boss—are you instead upset for not having listened with your Bodymind and acting on what you knew was the right choice in a recent situation?
When you're terribly uncomfortable with someone's sobbing—is it touching on a piece of sorrow you've yet to address? and so on …….
How might you respond differently? Allow Your Self to gently change by implementing these five simple steps:
1. Pause—do nothing, if only for a moment.
2. Breathe—a simple breath resets everything.
3. Recognize—"How am I like this?"
4. Reflect—on what you're being shown.
5. Respond—based on that Self- Reflection.
Go slowly and be kind with Your Self. We all get carried away from time to time despite our best intentions . I guarantee that you'll have another chance to practice.
Remember —though it may just be a story, the mirror doesn't lie ...