I have a mirror in my bedroom that I quite like. I like it because I’m generally happy with what it reflects back at me. That’s not to say I’ve narcissistic tendencies, but rather that I suspect my mirror is a little bit off-key. You see, when I see myself reflected in other mirrors or a shop window, the reflection isn’t quite as I expect – basically, it’s usually a bit larger than what I see in my bedroom.
So, I have decided to only believe the truth of that mirror. I don’t dally in front of any others.
I’ve chosen the physical reflection I will see as my truth. And that got me thinking about the psychological and mental reflections I see daily.
I’ve recently spent some time with my family, as my sister was visiting. It’s interesting how other people’s reflections can influence your behaviour. I’m the baby in the family and although I’m all grown up and probably the most ‘normal’ of all my siblings, my family still tends to treat me as the little one. It’ll probably remain so even when I’m 94.
I was so excited that my sister was coming to visit for a while because we simply don’t get to spend time together anymore, especially not for protracted periods. But, even though I don’t consider myself a chameleon-type person, I did find some little slips of behaviour creeping in – like settling in to a different groove. I’m not sure I liked the feeling – you see, I am now who I am. I’m not who I was or who my family may have believed I was to be. When you don’t spend time with people on a daily basis, the grooves and ruts on your road change, you take slightly different turns and make different pauses along the way. And yet, all the aspects they know and believe about me are probably true, just maybe not in the same proportions.
I’m definitely a bit of an observer. I like to watch and listen and unearth subtleties in syntax, body language, expressions and so on. I find it fascinating how just one word or one movement can actually change the entire mood or feeling of a group of people at a given time. I love how I am able to subtly manipulate the way people respond to me – a smile or a scowl will make any situation turn whichever way you intend.
But, even though I’ve lived all my life in the reflections of my family, I’m not sure I really like their truth. The truth they are giving me. We’re all multi-faceted, us humans. We all have duality, more than duality. But nobody truly knows every aspect, and in some ways that’s good – a little mystery never hurt anyone. But misunderstanding can. My beloved and friends know other parts of me, and perhaps reflect things about me, back to me, that are also a little off the mark. It’s difficult to know which reflections to really believe – like a fun-house mirror.
All this reflection has made me decide to try harder at finding my own honest truth (and that’s not a twee Americanism – there are dishonest truths that we all live by, to one extent or another). And I’m not talking about being an authentic me – that’s another subject and something that may not really work if you’re to actually have good relationships. Instead, I’m going to be conscious of what reflections are pushing and pulling me along each day – how this effects that and vice versa.
A little more awareness. A little more honesty. A little more truth.