Lessons learned from our mirrors

Lessons learned in the mirror

by Lindsay on September 15, 2011

in Relationships, Souls

Dahlia Elizabeth admiring her reflection

Ever notice how babies (and toddlers…and some adults) just love looking at their reflection in the mirror? Aside from it being super cute to watch as babies coo at themselves, looking into the mirror helps with their development and eventually they discover that the reflection they’ve been looking at & kissing all of this time is themselves.

In adulthood, relationships act as the mirror as we learn about ourselves. It’s pretty well accepted that our most important lessons come through our relationships with others. In the article Relationships as Spiritual Mirrors, I wrote: every person you meet, every situation you encounter – offers you a mirror to see your own reflection on a soul level. This particularly applies to romantic and familial relationships, but coworkers, clients and friends mirror us and teach us lessons as well.

Sometimes when we’re in the thick of the pain or having a rough time in a relationship, it’s hard to remember that we have something important to learn in the experience. It’s only later, upon reflecting on the situation, that we realize it was something we needed to learn. Bonus points if we have learned our lesson and don’t have to repeat it.

We may be either on the giving or receiving end of these experiences, and there will be a lesson offered both ways.  We haven’t fully learned our lesson until we can see how we helped to arrange matters. In other words, what did we do to set it up? This isn’t a matter of blame. Really, it’s not! But think about it next time: what part of your soul is being reflected back to you in this scenario?

I’ve come to realize that in relationships, we are so accustomed to a sort of cause and effect conditioning, like “You yelled at me first!”, that the concept of us giving the other person involved the proverbial bat and pointing to our own head is a difficult pill to swallow.  But, when you know that most everything that happens to you is drawn through the power of your own thought (whether it’s conscious or subconscious), then there’s no turning back, and there’s no more playing the role of the “poor me” victim. Well, you certainly can continue that, but it’ll feel less authentic. 

We don’t have to hold onto the pain we’ve lived through to prove that it existed. We don’t need to keep coming up with evidence of the “wrongness” of the other person involved. We can – and should – take responsibility for our part of the lesson and move on. This is part of what makes us human.

If you go through some relationship bumps in the road, think of it as an opportunity to learn some karmic relationship lessons and to help you grow on a soul level.  It won’t take away the pain, but it can help shed some light into the why.

Do you believe people are a reflection of who we are? Do you think we manifest the relationships and situations that come into our lives? 

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

LB September 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Hi Lindsay,

I’m also an Intuitive and Healer (among other things) and have lived a long, full life in which I’ve witnessed both wonderful and terrible things. While it’s often true that we *invite* lessons through the way we choose to handle ourselves within our relationships (and to a lesser extent, through our thoughts), I’ve come to believe this is not always the case. This is one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned through my own relationships. I think we have to be careful to differentiate between those relationship choices we have control over versus those we do not.

Sometimes innocent people – particularly children, the elderly, the poor, the sick, the disabled – suffer at the hands of those more powerful and corrupt – the only lesson would seem to be that humans are capable of inflicting great harm. Even if we don’t currently fall into one of these categories, most of us, at some critical point in our lives, are likely to encounter some situation in which someone more powerful than ourselves mistreats us in some dehumanizing way.

And while I understand how tempting it is to try and make sense of such cruelty by applying some fail-safe spiritual formula, I don’t believe any such guarantee exists – no matter how “right” our belief system becomes, we still may suffer.

Life is complex and as our connection with the Divine becomes clearer, we begin to understand that we may never completely know the mind of God/Goddess/Source anymore than we can completely control the will of another, no matter how spiritually aware and well intended we may be. That’s part of the mystery of faith. Which is not to say that our thoughts are not powerful or that we shouldn’t practice mindful, compassionate discernment in our relationships. It’s just that even when we do everything right, other humans will still sometimes disappoint us, or far worse. Unfortunately, we can’t always move on, nor do we always possess the wherewithal to change our external circumstances. During those times, the best we can do is acknowledge the injustice and try to apply equal measures of forgiveness and courage; that is, if we’re able.

And those of us who are willing to see and bear witness to these injustices can practice mindful acts of compassionate right action on behalf of those unable to protect themselves. My own experiences in facing life’s many injustices have taught me compassion. For that I’m grateful.

Reply

Lindsay September 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Hi there,

Thank you so much for sharing that. I completely agree that sometimes people suffer at the hands of someone else and it’s not something you manifested. For instance, I don’t think a child subconsciously ASKS to be abused. Or an elderly person who relies on others for care doesn’t ask to be neglected. I should’ve made that more clear in the article. I’m going to email you — more to say. :)

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LB September 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Thanks, Lindsay. The two examples you just gave are both good ones. I’m glad you understood my meaning without taking offense.

In terms of the choices we have control over, the general point you made was spot on – there’s a certain wisdom to be learned from our relationship “mistakes”. Why *do* we keep banging our heads against walls when we know it’s going to hurt? It can be quite the challenge to change not just our unhealthy thought patterns, but also the unhealthy behaviors that accompany them. For myself, I’m finding I sometimes have to change the behavior first, then work on my mindset and heart. But you’re absolutely right in that if we’re not self-aware, we’ll keep on repeating the same old dynamics without ever recognizing the role we’ve played.:) Your post is a valuable reminder to know ourselves.

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Justin | Mazzastick September 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Lindsay,

Relationships are the most difficult aspect of being human in my opinion. It’s easier to be the bigger person in situations that confront us on a fear level.

I found that it is true that we attract those that have a similar vibration to us. As we change so does the relationships in our lives.

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Lindsay September 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm

You’re so right, Justin. I’ve noticed especially in the past year I’ve met a LOT of new people who seem to be walking a spiritual path. And on the same token, a lot of my old friendships have fallen by the wayside. It happens as we grow & change.

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Julie | A Clear Sign September 16, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I loved seeing both of my kids realize exactly who that was in the mirror. In fact I remembering wondering if you could really get through the glass to another world like Alice.

Yes you do see yourself mirrored back by interacting with others. My least favorite is my husband, because I get ALL of it back, just as honest as you please. Pretty sure someone put him there to make me look! Or keep me honest, maybe? LOL Anyway, that is one advantage of living with someone else – it’s a faster growth experience. Easy to say how great I am when no one is there proving me wrong :)

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Lindsay September 18, 2011 at 8:41 am

lol! That must be why I think I’m so wonderful – no one to tell me otherwise yet! ;) I so know what you mean. Those who know us best are our “reality check” and definitely challenge us to keep it real.

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Melody @ Deliberate Receiving September 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Hi Lindsay,

I’m with you all the way – our relationships are the perfect mirror for our vibrations, with our family being the most valuable ones (that’s why they bug us so much…) In fact, I’d take it a bit further, and say that ALL of our experiences mirror our vibration in some way (we truly create our reality). Some of it isn’t that important, but if something bothers us, we’d be well to ask “what aspect of me is this telling me about.” yes, it can be annoying to have to take responsibility for everything, but once we take back that power, it turns out that nothing can really get us riled up anymore. We don’t have to get offended, we don’t have to lose the plot, we don’t have to go postal. We can choose, in each moment, to react the way we want. Because our reaction has nothing to do with the other person’s behavior, and everything to do with how we chose to view it.

Thanks for this thought provoking post. :)

Hugs!

Melody

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Lindsay September 18, 2011 at 8:47 am

Hiya Melody! Good to see you on here. :) You are right on target for this. I completely agree. And once we adopt this way of thinking (well, way of living, really) – that we are in control of our reaction to everything in our lives – then there’s no turning back. We can’t just live with the blinders on anymore after we’ve taken them off for a peak of how much control we have over our reality. :)

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rob white September 19, 2011 at 8:26 am

Indeed agreed, Lindsay. Everything in our world is a mirror. We can only see in the world what we see in ourselves. It is an incredibly empowering thing to pay attention to. When we catch ourselves harshly judging others we can realize we are feeling down about ourselves. In those moments when we appreciate the world, we are sensing our natural worthiness and ‘unlimitedness.’

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Lindsay September 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Rob, you make a very good point about catching ourselves being harsh to others when we’re feeling down about ourselves. This is so, so true. Thank you for the reminder!

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Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker September 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Lindsay, I read your Daily Awe articles every day. I love them. They are always uplifting and give me insights into myself and my world. Thank you for what you share. I appreciate your visit to my blog to wish my husband and I a happy anniversary.

My natal astrology chart (Saggitarian) says that my life lesson this time is mostly around relationships. I definitely believe, as you said in your post, that our relationships are mirrors. I believe that all of our relationships mirror the lessons that we need to learn. Don’t forget that those mirrors also show us the good in ourselves as well as the shadow parts that we often want to disown. Instead of disowning those shadow parts, we need to accept and heal those parts of ourselves.

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Lindsay September 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Patricia, I’m so glad you get some enjoyment out of the blog posts. That makes all of the writing and picture searching worthwhile. Really. :)

It’s easy to sometimes forget that those mirrors show us the good in us as well. It’s not ALL about painful lessons to be learned, some of it is pretty awesome. Thank you for that.

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