A mirror image is an accurate reflection of what we look like on the outside, but it cannot see and reflect the heart and the soul unless we are truly sincere about what we are looking at. Are we only seeing what we want to see, or are we seeing everything? We may have a certain level of vanity that allows us to tell ourselves we like what we see on the outside, but can we say the same about the inside? Do we ‘perfect’, shape or alter the outside image to hide and mask the inside, or to reflect it? Animals often have difficulty understanding their own reflection in the mirror and often see the image not as them, but as another separate one just like them.
As humans, we obviously know the reflection we see is ourselves, but if we don’t like what we see when we look in the mirror, it could be similar to an animal in that we have disassociated with who we really are. We need to be ‘whole’ and fully connected to our image in order to like ourselves; the inside has to reflect the outside and be a ‘match’. If these two things feel separate when we look at ourselves, that is probably because they are. So how do we go about making ourselves whole? Well, it’s easier said than done, we have to marry up the physical image on the outside with the heart and soul on the inside. We can’t just change the appearance of the outside if it is the invisible stuff on the inside that needs the attention and work!
Easier said than done because it takes courage, determination and sincerity to look at all the parts of ourselves we don’t really like. Unfortunately, however painful this could be is the only way to create the ‘whole’ of ourselves. It involves admitting that we have failings ~ as is so often said “Nobody’s perfect” ~ least of all human beings. We have to ask ourselves those difficult questions no one likes to ask instead of avoiding the truth; have I lied, cheated, treated someone badly, humiliated them, taken things that weren’t mine, not looked after my body, used jealousy to harm, been too proud to admit a mistake, made excuses for addictions of all kinds as a personal ‘permission’ to keep doing them, used anger or fear as a force for gain, been too lazy to help someone in need? Have I tried to ignore an injustice to me, a painful experience, or a trauma? The questions we could ask ourselves when we are honest about who we are on the inside may be too daunting, but the inside will always ooze out no matter how hard we try to hide it.
Taking a long, hard look at ourselves is the only way to reveal all the parts. Often it will not be as pleasant as we would like, and will therefore be painful to examine. If a heart and soul has become heavy with the burden of many unpleasant side-effects of being separate and not whole within the body, it can be forced to reveal it’s struggle in many varieties of physical symptoms such as anxiety, the need to be more controlling than usual due to feeling out of control with the environment, disturbed sleep or sleeplessness, fear of situations, appetite changes, frequent headaches, fatigue, lethargy and a lack of motivation, impulsiveness, reckless or compulsory behaviours and withdrawal of social sharing to name but a few.
There are many physical and psychological ‘prompts’ that our system is trying to re-align the heart, mind and soul. Often if stress levels are going through the roof, it is the most obvious indicator that the mind and body are trying to ‘match everything up’ and re-balance. When things seem to be going wrong all the time instead of right, we need to take a close look at how we can begin to re-organise our lives and ourselves. At these times the expression ‘something’s got to give’ springs to mind. Get rid of everything that no longer serves you, shed the rubbish you’ve been hanging on to for too long. Like every Autumn, the season naturally sheds the dead leaves of the cycle, so too should we.
Humans are spiritual beings who when whole, realise that they are the same as the seasons in nature. We as humans should model ourselves more on the natural world, as nature has an answer and a remedy for most eventualities. The Spring is new life, sewing seeds for harvest, new beginnings and awakenings from slumber. Summer is warmth, growth, energy, re-charging the solar batteries and joyful play. Autumn is harvest and storing for more barren days ahead, shedding the old, clearing out waste possession and Winter is a time of preparing for Spring, togetherness, huddling for warmth, taking care of the lonely and cold, self-care, rest and survival of harsher times!
A great tip for for re-aligning if we think we may be ‘out of kilter’ with our natural selves, is charting life events. Writing a timeline of significant times in our lives such as when we left school, beginning and ending of jobs, moving house, relationships or marriage, clubs and hobbies we joined, and any other specific life event. Looking at the choices we made as a whole on this list can then reveal a pattern which can help us to examine what changes we can make around these types of choices in the future. The next stage is in being true to ourselves and putting any necessary changes into effect without lying to ourselves or just settling for what we’re used to! If we truly want to know ourselves and find the right balance, then taking that leap of faith into the things we are most fearful of is a good way to start…“No pain ~ no gain!”
We all know if we truly want something enough we will do all we can to try and make it happen, so if we don’t at least try to connect with what’s on the inside, we may always have difficulties around feeling whole. Loving ourselves inside and out is a measure of true happiness and we can all treat ourselves to this kindness.