Ever look in the mirror and wonder “who is that?” Only to realize that, in fact, it is you looking right back at yourself. It is you unable to recognize the person that is reflected.
I have felt that way of late. I have felt as if the reflection peering back at me bares little resemblance to the person that I am though I know, it is me and it is just a phase. It is that my view of life is changing as is my view of myself.
It is unsettling, no? Unsettling but bearable as time passes, we either repress or we stop looking or we come to terms with where we are and who we are now and… live. No matter how we choose to reconcile the reflection with our changing self, reconcile we do.
How is it that it is easier to come to terms with not exactly recognizing our own selves in the mirror than it is to recognize one who has deceived us?
When I was a junior in college… ah, now weren’t those the days… my roommate and I finally, after spending way too much time together, blew apart. It wasn’t a peaceful parting of the ways though it could have been. Rather it was a situation that rocked me at my very foundations.
You see, rather than being honest with me and communicating, she elected to repress an hide her feelings. She chose to hide what she was thinking about me, which isn’t always a bad thing until it all comes out at once and in a rush. I didn’t speak to her for months… to date, we rarely speak. The incident ruined a very long friendship – not to mention put a strain in our relationship as cousins.
I could simply not trust her.
Water under the bridge. We both learned from the experience – we learned lessons that I don’t know that either of us could forget. I am not sure how the lesson played out in her life, but in mine… I am honest.
There is nothing like having your world turned upside down and not recognizing the people you thought you knew and even cared about because of dishonesty to leave one to fully embrace honesty as a way of life.
That said, honesty starts within. I had to learn to be fully honest with myself before I could give that self to others… and then, I learned that I could only live an honest life and trust that those who came into my heart did the same. No matter how much it hurts or how much we try, it is not possible for us to control the choices of others or to demand them to be honest with us. It is all a matter of trust; all a matter of being honest with ourselves and giving that honesty and acceptance to others.
Life pulls us in different directions. Relationships have natural beginnings and endings. I learned that honesty is a key to my living fully. My cousin looked at her own life and the experience and took from it what she did. Based on the situation, we never really took the time to get to know one another well again – we never took the time to find out if we could trust one another. It was, in this case, the natural ending to the relationship.
I contemplate the reflection in the mirror. I note that if I can keep myself centered in today and the reality of today, the image clears. I see myself look back at me bright eyes and waves. If my mind wanders to the future, the image blurs. I don’t know what the future holds; I know only what I feel and am today. Today is honest and real and truth. It is today where I need to live fully. If I spent all my time thinking about tomorrow… then what will I have missed of today? Today is honest – it is here, right now!
he image reflected back at me will soon be recognizable as I learn to live with integrity in this new reality. It will happen, soon or later. Sure, it might take time but I can live fully and completely no other way.