Humans are funny creatures. Everyone wants to change and no one wants to change. We’d like to have others change and we ourselves prefer to stay the same. Except that we’re not happy with the way we are, so deep down, we want to change too. It all gets rather confusing. A mirror fixes that – amazingly well.
We confuse ourselves and others because we can’t see ourselves. Imagine having never seen your own face. That’s life without a mirror.
1. With a mirror, we can see our face and mouths and our teeth. Then we can make changes we want to make, of our own free will. Watch how people immediately fix their hair or make-up as soon as they gaze into a mirror.
2. At work and in life, other people are our mirrors. They mirror back to us what we like and don’t like about ourselves. When they “make” us mad, it is ourselves we see. When they “make” us happy, that is also ourselves we see. We don’t see them. Indeed we are blinded by our mirror. We actually see mostly ourselves in the mirror of how we react to others. I call this “All I See Is Me.”
3. The present moment is when we see our truth in the mirror. Like looking in a glass mirror, it only lasts as long we look at it. The moment we look away, we have a memory of the image in the mirror, but the reality itself is gone. Thus, focusing on the present moment is the secret to self-illumination.
4. If you accept what you see, an amazing transformation happens. The mirror starts to become see-through, like glass. You stop seeing you, and you start seeing others as they really are. Jesus called this “…removing the plank in your eye so you can see the speck in your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)
5. The power of a mirror is unsurpassed. A mirror helps people to change freely and willingly. You can be their mirror. That’s true leadership. But you have to see them first to do it well. Otherwise, you will simply try to change them in order to alter what you see in your own mirror. This is self-serving, not other-serving.
You become a leader like this by accepting without judgment (first being neutral) what you see in the mirror, as lived out by those you work with, live with and love with. Your peace goes up. Your fears go down. Others feel it. That is the power of a mirror – the power to impact others by the strength of your own inner peace.