REFLECTIONS ON MIRRORS
A young man that I have never met before has just walked into my therapy room. He doesn’t do what most people do, which is to walk straight over to the chair I’ve indicated and sit down. Instead, he stands and takes in the room, noticing every detail, weighing everything up.
He glances out of the window, and comments that it’s a dark, heavy, overcast sky out there, which looks like it could soon rain. I look out of the same window at the same sky, and I see white clouds obscuring the sun, but I do not see dark or heavy, nor do I see imminent rain.
Then he looks at a plant on the windowsill, again weighing it up for several moments.
Finally, he looks at me and asks how many times I have to water it. He says it looks like a plant that would need a great deal of care and attention. It is a red geranium, healthy and vibrant, but this young man sees a plant that, if not given the attention it needs, could very easily die.
Finally, he looks straight at me, and asks if I enjoy looking after growing plants, and tells me that his mother used to grow many varieties of cyclamen. I make a mental note of this young man’s words, ‘used to,’ and let all he has said to me, all he has given me of himself, sink in for a moment.
After a moment or two, I say that I can hear his heaviness and lostness, and how badly he feels in need of care, and for someone to notice.
I choose those words because I know that he sees himself reflected in the sky, dark and heavy and carrying a weight of tears which could break any moment; and that he sees himself reflected also in the plant, in need of care and watering and attention.
And I wonder about the mother he mentions who ‘used to’ love plants. I hold in my mind the possibility that ‘used to’ might mean that she is no longer here. But I am also aware that, since this young man sees himself in the plant, then it could also be conveying that she ‘used to’ treat him with tender care and attention and now he feels there is a change.
Maybe something has happened between them; or maybe someone else has her care and attention now and he misses what used to be. Maybe it is something else that will yet emerge. But all these things, all these tiny pieces of this young man, I am holding as I watch him decide to sit down.
He looks again at the sky, and tells me that the rain clouds are really heavy. He says he’s pretty sure it will rain soon, and that when it does it will be such a downpour that everyone will be absolutely soaked… I acknowledge what he is seeing – a huge outpouring, a deluge – and say that perhaps he is fearful of what might happen if he goes near the overwhelming heaviness he is telling me about.
I say that I’m wondering if he is afraid that if he were to start to feel some of it, to open the floodgates that he might not be able to close them again. That he might just cry and cry, exactly as those clouds might release so much rain that everywhere will be flooded.
He looks up at me, startled and a little shaken, and tells me that yes, that is exactly his fear. That he has so many tears inside him, so much crying, that he is sure that if he began to let that out he would never be able to stop.
When I was first a therapist in training, many years ago now, I used to think that such interpretations were a bit flowery, a bit far-fetched. A bit contrived. I learned the techniques I was being taught, came to understand Freud’s conviction that everything, absolutely everything, in the external world was symbolic of our internal world.
I knew that one of the tasks of a good therapist was to help to make the unconscious conscious, and that once we do understand what is going on unconsciously we are empowered to take charge of it and learn from it, to allow it to change us.
I knew that the ego employs a significant number of defences to protect us from knowing just what our unconscious is doing, and that a skilful and careful therapist can help us very gently to give up those defences in the pursuit of our truth, and the discover of our real self.
Looking back, I am staggered at just how much Freud understood all those years ago. And also, I am amazed at the way in which, as I have begun to go through a process of spiritual awakening, I am coming to understand that what he was starting to notice was actually the merest tip of the iceberg in terms of what we are now coming to understand about the nature of our reality and who we really are.
But however simplistic, however rough around the edges, however clumsy and limited, I have come to appreciate just what profound truths he was uncovering, while understanding only the tiniest aspect of what he was introducing to the world. He got a great deal wrong, but he began a wave of awareness from which western society has never looked back.
In my search for the kind of therapist I wanted to be, I fairly quickly moved away from what I felt to be Freud’s rather clinical and dry analysis, in favour of theorists who placed far more emphasis on the importance of the relationship, and the reparative nature of therapy, but I have always known that he was a trailblazer.
It was Freud who got, without fully understanding the full significance of that realisation, that everything is a mirror.
So let’s go back to this young man, and to what he sees in the sky, and in that geranium on the windowsill. And also in me. In me, because I am already – and will come to be, for him, and just for a while – the most significant mirror of all. Just for a while. And in that simple fact lies the way in which each and every one of us assists each other, by playing out a role, voluntarily and with enormous generosity, in order to help each other discover the truth of who they really are.
Years ago, another great analyst, with rather more spiritual awareness, C.J Yung, observed: ‘When an internal situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.’
A hundred years or so later, many of us know this to be true in a more profound and global way. Both the findings of quantum physics, and a greater spiritual understanding of the way the Universe works, both supports the observations of these two great innovators and thinkers, and takes us way beyond anything they could have begun to imagine or comprehend.
So let’s really take it all in. Let’s go there. Let’s allow in the fullest realisation we can manage. Let’s allow that this is a holographic universe and that it reflects back to us, individually and independently, exactly what is going on in our internal world. We experience exactly what we are living on the inside, or what we have for a while been living on the inside. That isn’t about karma or fate or some kind of twisted desire on behalf of the Universe to teach us a lesson. That would make us victims, at the mercy of a pretty whimsical and dogmatic higher power. It would also make nonsense of the experience of the holographic universe and of ourselves as powerful creators and co-creators of our own reality. You can’t have it both ways. But as the creators of our destiny, vibrationally and energetically, let’s just take in what the Law of Reflection, or everyone and everything being a mirror, actually means.
For starters, look at the vast amount of accurate information you suddenly have available to you. If everything is reflecting back to you your own internal world – which current leading edge scientific experiments say that it is – then you need only cultivate honest awareness and openness in order to begin to truly see and know yourself. That is, the personality you have evolved in and for this lifetime. Wow, do you see just how profoundly wise and knowing you could become? The degree of empathy and compassion you could develop? The depth of understanding and lack of judgement you could allow to grow?
And then, if everyone and everything which is presenting itself to you as your projected reality, there can be a different way to meet obstacles and challenges and hurts. Blame is harder, but understanding become easier. While nothing excuses cruelty, abuse, abandonment, we can find a way to perceive the gifts of having a mirror held up to show up either a part of ourselves we are denying, or a part of ourselves which is lacking and which perhaps the other is demonstrating for us.
It is harder to sit in judgement when we realise that our external reality could simply not exist if it were not in some.way mirroring back to us something unresolved in our internal world.
Don’t you find that amazing? Mind-blowing? Someone has agreed, in love and in the service of expansion, to incarnate in order to be of service to you by offering you the gift of a mirror. And at the very same time, in love and in the service of expansion, you are similarly offering that other the gift of a mirror also. What greater gift could there possibly be, one soul to another?
But it’s way bigger than that! It’s not just the occasional significant person who is offering this gift, it is every single person with whom you ever come into contact. However seemingly fleeting and meaningless that contact might seem, it is enormously meaningful. It simply could not take place if you had not energetically made it happen. It can never be another way. Synchronicity is never an accidental circumstance of fate. Every universal law says that is impossible.
And it isn’t only other human beings who offer this gift of insight and growth. It is absolutely every single minute detail in the environment which surrounds you. The weather, the scenery, the seeming accidental annoyances or strokes of luck, everything. You are the creator of it all. And we are co-creators with you. We also co-create on a global scale. Our belief and the feeling of that belief, creates the world in which we live. And beyond that, the universe itself.
It isn’t that the Big Bang simply happened and we are all haphazardly and chaotically getting by, at the mercy of fate. That’s the old science, the old paradigm. It’s as outdated and outmoded as the idea that the world is flat or that the sun revolves around the Earth. The truth is that we ARE the Big Bang, light energy in constant motion, creative and expanding, loving and compassionate and free.
So let’s go back to that young man in my therapy room. I want to suggest something further, something that I find really amazing when I go to work every day, and something which we can all do, something each and every one of us can offer to each other. It’s what I shall be doing for this young man who has just come to see me. It is this:
We don’t just get to be a passive mirror, reflecting back to the other their internal state. By virtue of the fact that they are asking us to be that mirror, and that we are willingly engaged in offering that gift, two things become certain. And both are incredible!
The first is that we get to see ourselves in a mirror, too. This isn’t just one way. We get to play out and experience all that this other has to offer us, too. We get to see how we interact and respond, what they do to us, what they trigger and brings up in us, who we are right now. They offer us valuable insight also, through that amazing gift of connection with another spark of Source energy.
The second is even more amazing. Because this is all about Source expanding and; because Source is love and light in constant motion and experiencing and; because we ARE Source energy, we cannot help but bring to such encounters, at the deepest level, the compassion and understanding of who we truly are. We play out a role, supported by the ego, for the purpose of this lifetime, but ultimately our nature is Love. Our whole being is Love.
So the ultimate gift, every time, lies in our ability and willingness to offer, through an act of generous loving, a NEW possibility, a mirror showing the potential rather than the actual. That is, a mirror of who the other can become when they allow our interaction to affect and change them.
In therapy training, we talk about the therapist offering a ‘second chance.’ By that, we mean the offering of the opportunity for the client to experience through another – who will give it willingly – the restorative and healing experience of being understood, accepted and loved unconditionally. ‘Second chance’ because it wasn’t available, for whatever reason, when it was needed the first time round.
And so, here’s the thing. Here’s the most amazing thing of all about knowing you are a mirror. You can be more, offer more, give more, than all the affirmations in the world, to someone who has been seeking a mirror all their life because they don’t yet know how to see themselves, or who they are. Still less, who they can become.
Do you get how big that is? You may not be able to create in someone else’s reality, but you sure as anything can help co-create an experience someone has been waiting for right up until this very moment.
That’s how vital you are. That’s how important, how crucial, how powerful, how defining, your showing up at this place, at this time, in this moment, in this way, in this person’s life, actually is.
And if that person happens to be a total stranger, with whom you interact in the most fleeting way – a look, a gesture, a word, a touch – then you are being given, in that fleeting moment, the opportunity to convey the sense that they are worthy, that they are accepted, that they are unique, that they are equal and one and the same.
If that isn’t an awesome gift of a mirror, then I don’t know what is. And if that isn’t what makes this Universal heart swell and expand, then I’m struggling to think of anything quite so full of compassion and generosity than a gift such as this.
Don’t you just LOVE that?!
So what are you waiting for?!
Love and sparkles
Janny Juddly ? ✨