When you look in the mirror, what do you see? How do you feel? There, that thought which flashed through your mind when you read the questions gives you what you need to know. Are you satisfied? Thrilled? Saddened? Now stop to think why you feel the way you do. What is is about your reflection that can bring about such a strong emotion?
It’s amazing that the average person will gaze for countless hours at his or her reflection during the course of a life and be subject to the emotions the reflections brings and yet not once consider the meaning or potential that reflection represents. Nor is it even a consideration to wonder why they feel the way they do. The answer to these questions is that the mirror reveals a hard reality and realities is where we all live. Or so we think.
Think back to when you were younger. What did you see then? Obviously a younger person, but what else? When you consider this question, how does the memory make you feel? When you were twelve and possibly dealing with acne, braces, or whatever you felt a certain way when you saw the reflection. Now as an adult, the memory of those times has probably taken a different meaning. You realize that what flaws you saw back then were minor in comparison to the pressures and problems you now face. Perhaps you can look back at those times and laugh. If that is the case, then what has changed? The reflection you saw back then hasn’t changed, has it? No, because mirrors are incapable of lying. They simply show what is presented. Therefore, it is your perception that has changed. At this point in time you probably realize that you were just a kid with kid problems and perhaps even wish you were twelve once again. What was it like to be twelve? What did you do then? Who were your friends? Are you thinking about it? How do you feel now?
When I was twelve, I didn’t much care for my reflection. I was an acne poster child which was a hard profession with my sudden interest in girls hitting the scene. Yet even then, though I was far from satisfied, however, I had a comfort, a joy if you will, of the potential that mirror held. You see, when I looked into the mirror, I could picture the man I would become and the things I’d do. It was my imagination that made the reflection bearable. Through the years I have come to know that it is that imagination which gives the key to finding joy in the mirror.
Through the years I have seen many people in that reflection and here is a list: Cook, aircraft mechanic, father, husband, friend, son, preacher, engineer, college graduate, world traveler, handyman, carpenter, auto mechanic, teacher, lover, plumber…and the list goes on. Yet every time I looked into the mirror it was basically the same person from the day before. maybe there was a little less hair and much more gray, but still the same smiling acne-covered boy from all those years back. But then I realized that instead of looking into the mirror and seeing what I would become, I was now seeing who I was and am. I found I was subject to the same emotional state many of us find ourselves in. My perception of what could be had been replaced with what has been. There is a sad finality to that thought. The mirror showed the passage of time and I realized that time would never be replaced. I started feeling trapped.
Until I really thought about that twelve-year-old boy.
Basically nothing inside me had changed. Nothing except the perception of what I chose to see. Then I knew that the reflection wasn’t something to be ashamed of but something to be joyful about. No, I didn’t rush out and get plastic surgery, I just changed my mind. And so can you!
The mirror can only show who you have been and are at that moment. Nothing else. It can’t show you tomorrow and it can’t hold your future in its glittering glass. Only you have that power. What do you not like when you look in the mirror? Remember that what you are seeing is who you were yesterday and at this moment. So what would you like changed? What would you like to see? Less weight? Better surroundings? What? Well whatever it is you can have it. God’s spirit lives within us all and that spirit gives us power through our own minds and free will to literally make us into whatever we desire. Doubt that? Do you know how to drive a car? At one time you didn’t until you made the choice to learn to drive and put actions behind those thoughts. Now you are an accomplished driver. I bet the reflection in the mirror didn’t show a driver’s license before you took that test, now did it? While that is a simplistic example, it works. Think of things you wanted to do and then did. You changed your life, didn’t you!
See, you do have the power to change your reflection. There is joy to be found if you will only look at the possibilities instead of the perceived realities. You must learn to accept yourself as the master of your fate by making definite choices and then acting on them. Try, fail, try, try, again. You can do it. I suggest a little exercise. Go into a room alone and stare at your reflection. First take in what you see and thank God you are alive in this moment. Take note of things you want to change and begin to see yourself with those changes. Feel the positive emotions and make yourself a pledge to become the person you want to be. Show the mirror you are in charge and follow through. One day, much faster than you might think, you will look into that mirror and experience the joy of knowing the mirror now shows you the person you always wanted to be.
So go on and do the exercise. Use the eyes of your inner child and make a difference in your life. Find that joy. You have the power. You can do it and I believe in you!
Steven Morse wrote his first story when he was seven. The novel, Dracula, left a huge impression on him when he was ten and he knew from that point that he would write the books that held him with such fascination.