From the moment we are born, we enter into relationship with an other. That other is our first reflection, our mirror. In their face we experience the first perceptions of our self. That face (and the person behind it) and what it communicates to us, is how we develop our identity, who we are.
This powerful process, where we experience (through an other) being Noticed, Attuned To, Loved, Delighted In, Wanted, Adored and Cared For, shapes us. We can also take in the converse of these things – Disgust, Frustration, Intolerance, Disinterest, Devaluing, A Lack of Being Noticed or Attuned To or Valued, and so on. These are the early origins of shame and feeling we are not ok.
When we (Leslie & Doug) were reflecting on our week and the work we do helping others, a discussion about this powerful process of “mirroring” began. We reminded ourselves about how critical it is and how mirroring in relationships never stops. It happens from Mother to Father to Close Friends, To Our First Loves & with Our Current Love.
What’s different in later development is we have (hopefully) a more developed self and choice. We can and must choose the “mirrors” we want to look into and be shaped by. And we must decide if what is reflected back to us is a true reflection or not. When we surround ourselves with loving others who can love us well, we are affirmed and uplifted, and we feel accepted and loved.
But we must also be open to receiving reflections that are not shiny about ourselves if we want to grow and expand ourselves and learn to be loving reflections for others. Have the Mirrors in Your Life been good to you? Do you feel loved by them? Do you feel lovingly challenged by them? What kind of Mirror are you to others, your Children, your Lover?
For couples in love, the art of mirroring the goodness and uniqueness of the other has profound effects. We have the ability to remind our lover that they are special, that we adore them and that they have real worth and value. When we stop mirroring what we treasure in each other, the love for each other can slowly disappear.
The challenge for all of us it to keep love alive. To keep marriage great. To love each other with all our heart and sustain the devotion and attachment we need to feel truly connected – to our lover – hopefully, to our best friend. How we mirror that love to one another, does it all. Makes love truly blossom and grow.