A friend of mine once told me, "If you can learn to see everyone as a mirror, your self growth will increase exponentially."
I didn't really take heed of this advice immediately. In fact, I didn't want to see the things some people were showing me. When someone would bother me, instead of realizing these people were showing me where this trait exists in me, I just wanted to cut them out of my life. So I did. Over and over. I became an expert of cutting people out of my life. In fact I would guess, some of you reading this are thinking, "Yep, she did this to me."
Now let me add here, as it is important; some people NEED cut out. Some people are so toxic for you and even if you try to see them as a mirror, truth is you and them just aren't meant to coexist. This is okay. I say this because, after I became very aware of my quick cutting, I started letting people stay because I thought for sure there was something they were trying to show me, or I thought I was there maybe to help show them something. I allowed people to even steal from Steve and I. I sat aware of this happening, but didn't pull out the scissors right away because I kept trying to find my reflection in that mirror. Sometimes people are there to show you what you SHOULDN'T accept in your life.
Like all things in life, balance applies to this. Surprised? I shouldn't be, but I was. After understanding the difference between people holding up that mirror and people being toxic; this quote has changed my life. What once drove me nuts about people, now is opening my eyes to the existence of this behavior in me. As I then address this in myself, I can then find myself seeing past these traits in others.
I will say that more people show me behaviors I have in myself some days than I can do on my own.
Just a few examples: When I have a disagreement with someone, I think I'm 100% right so much so that I won't listen to other people's sides. I didn't realize that until really paying attention to arguments with Steve and my mom. Both are full length mirrors for this. Understanding I have this trait helps me to become more aware in the middle of a disagreement, that listening is more important than always being right. People who speak open judgement often remind me of how much judgment I'm carrying around; mostly of myself. This was an interesting one for me: A friend was talking about all of the projects she had going, and how she couldn't finish any of them because she was too scattered: this was like looking into one of those awful magnifying mirrors. You know the ones with the bright lights that you can see every imperfection on your face. One more example for good measure: I have a friend who says they will do something by a certain date, and when they inevitably don't I'm pissed! After the 3rd time of this happening, I thought to myself, where in life am I doing this? No surprise, it was sprinkled in almost every area of my life: from writing in my book, to doing stuff for Steve, to Hopie Hippie, etc....
Mirrors are everywhere and when we stop shattering them, and choose to look directly in at the reflection staring back at you, that's when real change happens. Who are your mirrors? What are they teaching you? I would love to hear from anyone willing to share theirs.