Do we really want a magical mirror to tell us the truth?
Maybe it isn’t the other person’s fault you feel the way you do? Maybe it isn’t the organisation getting in your way? Maybe no one and no thing is holding you back?
‘Nothing can inhibit your second journey except your own lack of courage, patience, and imagination.’*
We already have plenty of mirrors to tell us what we need to know.
Eckhart Tolle points to one when he warns us, ‘How you react to people and situations, especially when challenges arise, is the best indicator of how deeply you know yourself.’** When we struggle with something in another person we’re identifying something in ourselves, and vice versa. When a situation is difficult, it is helping us to see our shortcomings.
Sometimes the mirror can be a story someone is telling us or we’re reading which offers us a bigger perspective on seeing ourselves and each another: ‘Story – sacred and profane – is perhaps the main cohering force in human life. A society is composed of fractious people with different personalities, goals and agendas. What connects us beyond our kinship ties? Story.’^
A third mirror – connected with people, situations, and stories – is the future. When we “get” that we can imagine a different future to our past, and begin to create it – together with others, we break the chain our memories can become:
‘Your remembered experiences then shape what your brain is CAPABLE OF SEEING, as well as what it PREDICTS AND EXPECTS TO SEE. Your brain relies on its memories to sum up your past and imagine the future.’^^
You’ll have spotted this can mean something positive or negative. When we colour present experiences with the memories of our past, the destroy hope. Creating positive future memories is another mirror available to us.
Each of these mirrors enable us to see our true self: important, as we’ll need to embrace the truth of who we if we are to move forward:
‘If you don’t walk into the second half of your own life, it is you who do not want it.’*
Freed from ‘dredging and redredging the tired, boring injustices of our personal lives,*^ which drains us of energy, we can become makers, creators, of something better.
It is not about being perfect or complete, but as we become people who connect rather than disconnect, gratefully seeing all we have, we’ll be surprised just how far we can go; beyond persisting, we’ll persevere: ‘But perseverance is something larger. It’s the long game … until the end.’^*
We can only live within our limitations, but they are not as scary as we think. They are only a prison whilst we hide away from them: ‘Every creative endeavour becomes a realisation of both how limited and how unlimited we are.’⁺
The mirrors are already telling you something.
(*From Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward.)
(**From Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.)
(^From Jonathan Gottschall’s The Storytelling Animal.)
(^^From Sunni Brown’s The Doodle Revolution.)
(*^From Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.)
(^*From Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way.)
(⁺From Erwin McManus’s The Artisan Soul.)