Monday, September 8, 2014

A Million Reflections

In the 25 years I have been on this earth, I have broken several mirrors out of pure clumsiness. Basically, the 7-years-of-bad-luck thing is an endless shaming to my inter-most being. Immediately after destroying these mirrors, I often feel a sense of failure and embarrassment. I feel badly about not being more aware of what I am doing or mad at myself because I ignore the voice inside of me that is coaxing me to be more careful.

After the initial shock and discouragement, I notice the unfortunate mess that I have created and the thousands of reflections that now stare back at me. That's the funny thing about mirrors. When they break, they just create smaller mirrors. Each shard of glass reflects an image. If you look into it, you see yourself.

I have often seen myself in the brokenness; the image staring back at me is warped and a reminder of how I was not paying much attention before. I see this happening in my daily life, clarity vs. warped perception. In one moment, I ignore the warning signs and want to believe that everything is going well. But, then something usually happens and it all shatters. I realize that I don't have it all figured out; I am let down by someone or I even let myself down.

Some mirrors last longer than others. I have this beautiful, tiny mirror that was my grandmother's. It has extravagant detailing of emeralds and metal intertwining.  I remember admiring it as a child, afraid to touch it, truly believing that it was the mirror straight from a fairy tale. I didn't want to gaze into it, because I was afraid of what may happen. In one of my fantasies, the one that peered into the mirror would be trapped for all time. In another tale, I imagined it to be the mirror of the evil queen in Snow White. This mirror is special. Now, I know the mirror is not one that holds magical powers, but it is still something I cherish. However, it does hold some power. This mirror has stood the test of time, multiple moves, and my severe clumsiness.

This mirror has yet to shatter into pieces and is a constant reminder that things that are fragile must be cared for. We are all like mirrors. As strong as some appear to be, there are parts that are quite delicate and need to be treated as such. When a disappointment occurs, this could be when damage is done. When lies are told, imagine a piece breaking away. When a dream is not quite reached, the refection seems to be warped. What you see looking back at you is not at all what you were hoping to see.

Mirrors are weird. They are just objects reflecting light, allowing for us to see something that exists in tangible form already. How our eyes perceive the light is called Diffuse Reflection, allowing for our eyes to interpret the reflection that is occurring (it's actually very scientific in how our eyes are interpreting the angles via the pieces of light scattering and hitting different angles). However, comparing mirrors to our own brokenness and reflections, Diffuse Reflection is often interpreted by how we truly feel about ourselves. All of our shortcomings and self-destructive tendencies/thoughts all appear to be looking back at us.

We live in a very broken world where we are told to look, act, and be a certain way. If we do not fall into a certain category, we are shoved to the side and made to feel like we are not worthy of love, compassion, or acceptance of any kind. When someone lets you down, you feel as if it is your own fault for trusting them in the first place, as if you placed a standard too high for them to reach. As if you wrongly thought you deserved to be able to trust another person.

These are all forms of brokenness. These are all ways in which we break ourselves down, like we break mirrors. Some mirrors are meant to be broken, because they do not reflect us as we fully are. Some mirrors are given to us by others, reflections to how we should see ourselves. Fully loved, appreciated, whole.

If you find yourself peering into a mirror and see only a broken reflection staring back, get rid of it until you can have a perception of yourself that is more accurate. You are loved. You are cared for. You are full of purpose. If you have a tendency to break mirrors, like me, trust someone else to carry it for you or place it in a space that you know it will be safe. Listen to the inner voice that says how to carry it, when you need to. Be cautious with your reflection when you take it into the world, for there will be people around you, waiting to see it become warped, broken, shattered. Hold strong and reflect light where ever you go.

To learn more about mirrors, check out: