Mirroring - A Key To Understanding Yourself
by Catherine Pratt
I found this "Everything is a Mirror" stone in a stress relief store recently. I’d heard the expression before but didn’t really understand it. I definitely didn't realize how valuable of a tool it can be to understanding yourself.
I now believe there are two types of mirroring. One is when people mirror exactly what you're feeling. For example: you're annoyed with your boss so you find other people who also don't like him so that you can vent your feelings. Sometimes described as, “misery loves company” or "birds of a feather flock together". When you believe certain things about the world, you will find others that believe the exact same thing. That’s the first kind we’re the most familiar with.
Then there’s a different side of mirroring which I think is much more fascinating. It happens when people are showing you your own innermost beliefs. Beliefs that you may not even be aware that you have. It can be the key to understanding yourself in ways you've never thought of before. With this type of mirroring you won’t find that people think like you instead you will find that they will treat you exactly how you feel about yourself.
So, if you find that everyone is always late for meetings with you, or that your relationships always fail, or that people seem to keep putting you down, you may need to figure out, “how do I feel about myself deep inside?”.
A Real Life Mirroring Example
Here's an example from my life. I got three emails in one day from a friend who told me they thought I was incredibly self centred and that I believed I was the only person in the world who had problems. At first it totally annoyed me and all I could think was that they were completely wrong.
After I got over my defensive feelings, I thought about it some more. I had to ask myself if it was true? I have to admit sometimes I am self centred but I didn't think that was the real issue going on here. I then thought it was similar to how someone else in my life will behave when she wants to convince me to do something that I don't want to do. The old guilt trip thing. Possibly, this was what was happening with my friend. I had told them no on something and they did want me to change my mind but I still thought there was more to it than that.
So, that was interesting but it got even more interesting when I realized that the other issue that was going on was that they really didn't have time for me and they were trying to make me fit into events they already had scheduled. That was really the only available time they had for me. I then figured out that this is something that is going on in almost all my relationships. People are too busy and don't have time for me. Work, friends, family, etc. It was happening everywhere. This was a pattern I hadn't seen so clearly before. It was a painful thought but by now I was also curious as to why this was happening.
The eye opening moment occurred when I suddenly knew that the problem was because I wasn't valuing time with myself. So, if I didn't feel that spending time with me was important, how could they? I would even "tell" them how to treat me by saying things like: "I know you're really busy, so whenever you have time."
"I can work around your schedule."
I was basically telling them that I wasn't worth spending time with or at least I wasn't worth the effort of making room in their schedule. If they had time for me then they would see me but not if they had to make any extra effort to do it. People were simply mirroring my belief. A belief which I hadn't known about myself. It was a life altering experience.
Since I've become aware of this, I've noticed that people seem to be starting to treat me a little differently. It’s amazing how even just the awareness of an issue can create dramatic changes in your life.
As you can see from my experience, what aspect of yourself is being mirrored isn't always instantly obvious. Sometimes, it takes a little digging to truly understand what's happening. It's very much worth it though as once you discover that key to understanding yourself, there's no going back. It's like you've been given an incredible gift. Once you know, you can question the belief and work with it instead of it working against you.
As Byron Katie says in her book, I Need Your Love - Is That True?, "Often with pain and depression, there are thoughts you've had for so long and held so close that you don't even know they are there. And you've never stopped to see if you even believe them."
So, look around, what are people telling you about your internal beliefs? Want to share? Use my Contact Form and let me know your experience.
Everyone is a mirror image of yourself –
your own thinking coming back at you.
Related Articles for Understanding Yourself
Why Do These Things Happen To Me? How Your Thoughts Create Your Reality
Changing Core Beliefs
Life Change - 6 Reasons Why We're So Afraid to Change
Why Emotional Stress and Pain Isn't Always Such a Bad Thing
When We Blame Others
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