Sitting in the bar, I noticed that everyone is constantly looking at each other. This happens on the street too, and in the line at the supermarket. People can’t help it.
I realize that I rely on feedback from other people to guide much of my decision making. My life is a continual process of checking in with those around us, relying on these clues for learning and validation.
We all carry around big mirrors with us every day.
And we act accordingly.
If I were to always be alone, I'd be lost. Unable to create myself purely by introspection. Instead, I enlist the help of others so as to better gauge my actions.
Yesterday, browsing the shelves at the library, I pulled out a book and through the gap in the shelf, caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror from someone on the other side.
I was confused. “I don’t look that way..do I?”
I felt like I was looking at a stranger.
This frightened me, but I brushed it off and thought,
“Maybe it was an an outlier. I don’t actually look that way.”
Until on the walk back I found many other mirrors around me were revealing the same qualities.
When I got home, I ran to find a stool to stand on so as to somehow see into the mirror that I was holding.
It’s no use.
When I look into my own mirror, everything is upside down and backwards and mostly just shines outward for others to look into.
Does this mean that I am unable to really get to know people? That our friends and families are really just reflections that we see for ourselves?
No. Luckily these reflections only serve as minor corrections to the way people act, and do not serve for our total understanding of each other.
Thousands of minor adjustments happen per day based on what we see in other people’s mirrors. I’m still me. You’re still you.
You’re just an influenced, you.
Just then after feeling down about my reflection, I realized something powerful: I can close my eyes if I want to.
I could not look around or instead look into people’s eyes.
I remember that sight and memory are controlled by my own brain. Not by the brains of others.
Furthermore, I realized that you have control not only over what your brain chooses to see, but also what you are able to display in the mirror that you hold.
When you gain this confidence, you can begin a journey of sovereignty.
When others see you at the store they smile, they like themselves when they look at you.
It no longer matters so much what others display.
You reveal the innate.
You control what you reflect.