There are three kinds of reflections in the world: 1) the reflection of ourselves, as we look in a mirror, similar to reflections seen in a clear calm lake or pond; 2) the reflection of ourselves as we notice how others respond to us, or are affected by us; 3) the reflection we do with our minds and hearts.
As a photographer I enjoy the reflections of trees or objects reflected in bodies of water. There are times when a lake or pond has no wind ruffling the waves and the waters’ surface is like a mirror: flat, quiet, and with a focused reflection of its surroundings.
Then there are the reflections we see of ourselves in mirrors. We all use a mirror to determine if an outfit looks good on us. I read that some mirrors in clothing stores are designed to make us look thinner. Almost everyone wants to look thinner so the mirror helps make sales. (I think the mirrors at my home are designed to make me look bigger so I feel compelled to lose weight!)
Sometimes we may reflect an attitude or behavior of someone we are listening to or know. When we haven’t even established our own opinion of a person or situation, we may reflect like mirrors another person’s feelings before deciding our own.
Have you ever been around someone who makes you feel depressed or nervous? Sometimes we don’t realize we are mirroring the sources of those emotions. Hopefully we are not mirroring them but we sense that they are troubled and want to help them.
But there are also the reflections of ourselves that we see in those around us. Do our friends reflect a loving, peaceful, enjoyable feeling or attitude when they are with us? I have a friend whose laughter makes me laugh even harder. How do others respond to or reflect your attitudes feelings or presence or do they deflect them?
Sometimes I wish people could see themselves as others see them. Those who are angry, rude, hateful, or belittling, surely have an adverse effect on those around them. What is going on in this person’s mind or life to cause them to act rudely?
I have been told that I give off a helping or healing light that makes some reflect positive and peaceful emotions or thoughts. People, even strangers, often feel comfortable with me and tell me about their lives or something that bothers them. Part of the “vibe” I give off comes from my 37 years as a nurse; plus, I love people. I like having this effect on others when I am in tune with myself.
Once on a trip when I had two cats, I stopped to let them out of their carriers into the car. Soon it was time to go. They resisted getting back into the carriers. I had not slept well the night before; it was hot; and I got frustrated and spoke crossly to them. They began jumping back and forth from front to back seat, which I had never seen them do. They became hyperactive.
I realized that they had felt my frustration growing and it affected them. I took some deep breaths and calmed myself. As they complained I gathered them up and put them in their carriers. Then I talked to them in a very calm voice and told them, ” I am sorry that I was not patient with you. I am calm now. Everything is alright. We are safe.” They calmed right down and went to sleep in their carriers. Cats, and dogs especially can read people’s emotional status.
Then there is another kind of reflection: Self-reflection or thoughts that come from self-examination in order to understand ourselves better. These insights or understanding may come from meditation, prayer, intuition or contemplation. Sometimes reflection may give us “peace of mind,” through understanding and therefore, hopefully, acceptance of ourselves, from which we may grow and have more confidence, self-forgiveness, wisdom of just better self-acceptance.
Take time to examine your thoughts and feelings before you make a decision or react to the actions or words of another and try to understand why they are behaving the way they are.
Lone seagull on beach.
So today look for the reflections around you. See if the pond is calm enough to give you a beautiful scene. Look at the people you interact with. Is there someone who reflects your state of mind? Are those you are interacting with reflecting your positive emotions or behaviors when they are with you or their own feelings?
I like what Kahlil Gibran said,
” Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”
Let your light shine. The world needs more light and love now. We are all in difficult times to different degrees. We have been trying to cope with racism, not just with the Black people but the Mexicans, the Chinese, Native Americans and so many others for various reasons. Let’s try to calm down by self-reflection and let our light reflect positively in the responses of other people living in the world.
Maybe a little light can trickle in and remind us that God, the Creator, Spirit, or however you perceive Him/Her, created us in whatever way you believe. But we are all from the same source, no matter how it was done. Let’s try to be more considerate of others; be kind instead of mean; be trustworthy instead of deceptive; be considerate instead of selfish or thoughtless; be compassionate instead of hard hearted. It helps if you can see love, light or positivity reflected back at you from someone else who found those qualities from you.