Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Reflection on Self

The word reflection keeps popping into my head today as does the story of how Narcissus spurned all of his male and/or female suitors and was punished by the Goddess Nemesis. She made him fall in love with his own reflection. Realizing the beautiful boy he was looking at in the pool of water was his own reflection, Narcissus took his own life. Why do I mention Narcissus? I mention him because the movie, fashion, and advertising industries keep bombarding us with images and words that tell us we are not thin, rich, successful, attractive, or desirable enough. Low self esteem sells products. Simple.

Why do I mention this aspect of reflection? I mention it because when we look into a mirror, we generally do so to make certain that we look presentable before venturing out into the world. Can you pass a mirror without taking a quick look at yourself? If so, how many times do you pass it before you take a look? Looking in a mirror can provide you with a reality check. Does your reflection represent how you feel inside? Or is it distorted? What do you think when you see your own reflection? Are you pleased with your appearance? If not, you should stop dwelling on what you perceive to be your flaws. Everyone is unique and beautiful. Find something about yourself that is attractive. Chances are you will begin to feel better, stronger and happier once you see yourself in a different light. If you like what you see, then pat yourself on the back.

When we reach a certain age, we change. It is inevitable that we will become older versions of ourselves, and in some cases we will turn into our parents to a greater or lesser degree. We can stay young forever in our minds and hearts if we choose to do so. There are days when I feel ageless, and then again, there are days when I feel old. This is a fact of life and it is OK. Of course, there is Plastic surgery and its non-invasive treatments if someone wants change their external appearance. Superficial changes may make someone feel better about themselves, but it will not change what is going on inside of them. If we change ourselves from the inside out, we are doing the work we need to do. We need to keep learning and growing and changing. I believe that reflection is necessary for introspection--before action.

Most of the time, when I look into a mirror, I look beyond my appearance. When I do this, I start reflecting upon my past--specifically, what kept me from doing what I wanted to do when I was younger. I remember how my issues and my parents' programming prevented me from fully embracing life. They wanted to protect me. I was so sheltered and naive. I occasionally feel the pain and loss of many missed opportunities, but then again, I reflect upon the choices I did make. I am thankful for the person I have become. Know that your life experiences contribute to making you the person you are right now. You can change any aspect of your self except for those things that are hard-wired into you. However, you cannot make someone else change. They will have to change if this is what they want to do. Remember this. Reflect upon that fact that you can only change yourself and monitor your actions.

Reflect back on some of the decisions you made in the past that impacted the lives of others. Think about the movie "It's a Wonderful Life." Can you recall at least one incident in your life where you made a decision to do something unselfishly and helped someone? If you did, you helped make their life better. In that instance, you were an angel. You helped create a small miracle.

Now, take a moment to look at the decisions you may have made recently regarding your own life. If you haven't made any decisions yet, are you are at a turning point? If so look at your options. Write them down. Do a storyboard or flowchart of where each option can take you. If you reflect on your past choices and experiences, you may be able to see things more objectively and clearly. Your life has taught you many lessons about yourself and the people with which you interacted. Trust what you know, and in a short while you will be able to transform your life. Little by little. Do not be in a hurry. Time and delays can be extremely helpful. If in doubt, reflect back to a similar situation in your past. You will do well.

One more thought on reflection...

When you look into a mirror say the following: "Mirror mirror, who am I?" The mirror will not answer you. You may not recognize yourself, but a small voice inside of you will direct you to start healing your wounds and work on the issues that block you from your childhood and young adulthood. Trust that your inner child will help you do your work.

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