Take a Closer Look
The concept of the mirror as a tool for self-awareness is not a new one for me but sometimes it takes someone else to hold that mirror up for us to remind us that the events outside of us are really opportunities to look inwards to see where we hold either judgment or fear.
Most of the time we are going through life unconscious of the automatic mechanisms that control our behaviours, or our reactions to the external environment. When we become more self-aware of our personality traits and the things that can elicit certain emotional responses, we are able to choose how we engage with any given situation.
The idea isn’t to repress our emotions, and certainly there are automatic responses that the body initiates in order to keep us safe, but rather to become aware of how we are feeling; where in the body we are feeling certain sensations; and whether the feelings coming up represent who we truly are.
We can sometimes get caught up in the belief that we are our feelings; angry, for example. When anger arises there is an opportunity to step back from the anger, observe it to see where it is coming from, what past experiences are now replaying within us that are causing the response of anger.
Once we recognise that our behaviour is in large part due to programming from past events, we are able to decipher what is really at play in the moment. We may realise the old programming, we may also realise that a person is projecting their own programming onto us in which case we need to be discerning enough to recognise this and not take on their “stuff”.
When a person is doing deep reflective work around their feelings and emotions sometimes confusion arises because they cannot figure out where the feelings are coming from. In this case, the person may be carrying belief patterns from their ancestors, family members, or the human collective in general. Recognising this and doing work to release this unnecessary load can bring more harmony to a person’s life.
Being honest and compassionate with ourselves will help process uncomfortable feelings that arise in our day-to-day lives. If we need a friend to hold the mirror for us, ensure that they can hold it gently and with ample support.
Karen Gay, A-Roaming Bodyworker, is a holistic health practitioner practicing in Hanoi. For information on the types of services provided, visit a-roamingbodyworker.com