I’ve been thinking about mirrors.  Mirrors as metaphor, people as mirrors, mirrors as the enemy of all women, mirrors as an indicator that our vision is incredibly skewed, etc, etc.  I use the concept of mirrors in working with my clients that are overly sensitive to the perspectives, opinions, and actions of others.  I have them imagine that they are in a bubble that is made of two-way mirror.  They can see out, but others can’t see in.  What others see is themselves and the images they are trying to place on others so as not to have to deal with the issues personally.  What this does is help the client build up healthy boundaries and separate themselves from the over entangled relationships with others as well as help them see others objectively.  I do warn them that this practice can cause the ‘fighting fish’ response.  Ever see a fighting fish in a fishbowl react when you put a piece of mirror in visual range?  They think it’s a rival, will start aggression displays and then move to outright attack.  People will do this as well.  They will react to what they perceive is happening instead of seeing that it’s actually a reflection.  Respond appropriately and accordingly.  I recommend walking away so as to alleviate the situation.  And evaluating whether you want to associate with the person any further, because whatever issue they are working with isn’t gonna change any time soon.

Meanwhile, mirrors can really help us see ourselves if we can get past all the programming we’ve received in our lives about what we see.  However, I hesitate to suggest them as a healing tool to people because of all the negative messaging we have around them, or perhaps more accurately, all the marketing message we have absorbed that make the mirror image into a broken, lacking, needing item that requires much purchasing in order to fix.  How can we even begin to look at ourselves with self-love and admiration and fascination if we’re told to do so is narcissistic and unhealthy on the one hand and that what we see is ugly, broken, and in need of drastic repair on the other?  How can we hope to feel enriched and happy and successful and wonderful if what we see each day is something to fear and avoid?

I don’t have an answer for that yet and I don’t know that there is an easy one other than to recognize the issue.  The mirror can be used to pick at our flaws, but it can also be used to see our amazing uniqueness and to celebrate our existence which is a miracle.  I choose to do the latter, one day at a time.