From Amusement Park to Real Life
It wasn’t the most amazing and riveting attraction at an amusement park, but I found it the funniest. It was the House of Mirrors. I laughed harder here than on any other ride in the park. The House of Mirrors, in case you’ve forgotten, is the place where you climb up a set of stairs and walk into a room filled with mirrors. As you stand in front of each mirror your reflection takes on all different kinds of shapes. One mirror makes you super tall and skinny, as if you are stretched out from head to toe. Another mirror makes you short and squatty, as if you are one-third your height and three times your width. One of my favorites was the mirror that made your arms long, as if they hung on the ground. So funny!
One day not long ago, it hit me like a ton of bricks, these mirrors are just how we see ourselves and others – distorted through eyes that are more connected to our minds than to our hearts – a living house of mirrors. With this as our viewpoint, we are never able to see anything as it truly is. That means we are disconnected from reality. As you might imagine, being disconnected from reality causes us major stress. But, this stress is unnecessary. With the correction of our viewpoint, the stress resides. To correct it, we have to see it.
This phenomenon of a living house of mirrors has three separate, but similar, aspects to it to help us unravel the false so we can see the truth. One is the way we see ourselves – distorted. The second is the way we see others – also distorted. The third is that the way we see others is the way we see ourselves – other people are our mirrors.
The distorted view of life with which we have been taught to see ourselves and others is based in thought, not in heart. This means we tend towards beliefs rather than love. But, beliefs are not universal, meaning we don’t all believe the same thing. This is unlike love in every way which has no opposition and is completely universal – we all understand love as we are just that at our core. The divine exists everywhere and the distorted mirrors are no exception. They show us things we believe in, but are not true. It is this gross distortion that brings us to the truth.
A Different Kind of Mirror
The mirror we use to see ourselves here is not a typical mirror. There is no metallic silver backing on glass and the mirror isn’t handheld or hung on the wall, but it is right in front of us.
Mirrors reflect things back to us. Looking at ourselves through the house of mirrors, we don’t see ourselves as we are. We see a distorted view, but this view is not the truth. What are these mirrors made of? They are made of our beliefs, thoughts, concepts, ideas, and roles. These were all taught to us. They are not our truth. In the distorted house of mirrors, we see ourselves as we believe we are, not as really are.
Looking in the distorted mirrors of our beliefs, we see ourselves as worthless/useless, incapable, unattractive, not smart enough, as the one who is always passed over, the person no one will love, as well as the one who is better than others, more important than others, and more valuable. Of course, the last three are coping mechanisms to how we really believe we are, which is worthless, useless, and so on. In this distorted mirrors, life is filled with everything we aren’t, rather than everything we are. But, beliefs are not truths.
The way we see others through the mirrors of distortion is also never correct. We believe our assessments, judgements, and stories of other people are spot on, as if we know what we see, but we do not. It is not possible for us to see others as they are; we don’t see ourselves as we are. Our beliefs would also have us often seeing the worst in others. But, this is because we often see the worst in ourselves. We see others based on our beliefs, not on truths. In fact, we see others based on our beliefs about ourselves, not our beliefs about them.
This brings me to the amazing opportunity we have to become aware of what we believe about ourselves by noticing what we believe about others. It is correctly said that other people are our mirrors. This is due to a law of the universe that says like attracts like. To see this magic in action, let’s say you meet someone you really like. What do you like about them? Know that these qualities are also in you or you would not recognize them and appreciate them. Likewise, if you meet someone you don’t like, ask yourself the same question. What do you dislike about them? Dig deep. Don’t stay on the surface with this one. The answer may not be apparent to you at first, but you will find it. There is a connection between you. Like attracts like.
Breaking the Mirrors
So many of us spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about what others think of us. A better use of our time would be to search for and become aware of what we think about ourselves. Using the approach that other people are our mirrors will focus our attention where it is most helpful to us.
If you see someone on the news and think, “Idiot”, there is something in you that also feels like an idiot or feels unworthy, stupid, or incapable. We often find errors in others as a way to gain some relief from our beliefs about ourselves. This is known as projection and we do it more than we realize. Another example of using others as our mirrors is if you hate a particular person, ask yourself why? Is there something in you that you hate also? The reason for self-hatred may not be the same as the reason you hate another, but the hate is there. Maybe you hate what they believe in. Maybe this matches you in that hate what you believe about yourself. It is possible. Ask questions, investigate and uncover the truth.
The house of mirrors is helpful in so many ways. When we know how to see each other beyond the distortion created by the mirrors, we can use the mirrors to show us the truth. This takes awareness on a level higher than we work with most of the time. However, within our core, we are already the highest level of awareness that has ever existed so we are certainly capable of it. When we reach this awareness level, something special happens. We see ourselves and others as we truly are; as one and as love. Break all of the mirrors and see the truth. What we have been taught to believe about ourselves and others is completely distorted. It is time to see clearly, reduce our stress and experience more love than we ever imagined.
Challenge: The next time you think something derogatory about another person, ask yourself what in you would see this in someone else? See if you can find the connection between your beliefs about another and your beliefs about yourself. The connection is there so don’t give up looking until you find it. Once you do, you must realize both beliefs came from distorted mirrors that do not reveal the truth. You don’t have to feel bad about what you believe about yourself and someone else, you just have to correct it. Correcting it means no longer believing in any of it. You are a powerful being in the universe so you have all the tools you need within your heart to seek the truth and find it.