by Tayyiba Iram on Sunday, 4 October 2009 at 23:37 ·
It has been rightly said that this world is a mirror. It reflects back our inner/true reality to us. As within, so without. Everything in our life; our job, our economic condition, our dwellings, and the people in our life reflect one or the other aspect of our reality. Isn’t this a beautiful arrangement made by mother nature to make us understand ourselves? But do we really want to understand ourselves? For ages man has been trying to understand all that is outside of him; be it people, economics, climate, or so-called God.
My teacher Sirshree tells this story of a monkey who got trapped in a hall of mirrors. He looked at the monkeys in the mirror and growled. All the monkeys growled back. He made faces at the monkeys in the mirrors; they did just the same. This monkey was quite smart. He realized that he cannot possibly fight with so many monkeys (they were all around him), so he decided to sit quietly and see what happens. To his surprise, all the other monkeys too sat down quietly. We too are like that monkey, trapped in this hall of mirrors called earth. What we need to understand is that if we change ourselves, the world around us will automatically change!
In this endeavour to change the world by changing ourselves, our relationships play a major role. In fact, we look at everything in ‘relation’ to some or the other thing. This looking ‘in relation’ creates our 3D reality. Do you at times feel that you should have handled a relationship slightly differently? Are you one of those people who choose to just ignore reality and live in denial? Do you want to heal your relationships in this new year?
Let us see how you can make a difference in your own world.
• There are three most important words that each of us must learn to use effectively. These words sound very simple, and commonplace, but they are very effective. These words are ‘I am sorry’. These words are often left unsaid, because of our fragile ego. We feel belittled if we use these words. The fact is that saying ‘I am sorry’ doesn’t mean that we are admitting to committing a crime. When we say, ‘I am sorry’, we are effectively saying that we are sorry for causing hurt to the other person. If a relationship is important to us, we won’t hesitate in using these special remedial words. After the situation is under control, all parties involved, need to quietly think about what the other person and the situation is reflecting back to them, what is the mirror showing.
• In any conflict, there are always two stories, or as many stories as the number of participants. The conflict is fuelled by our unwillingness to listen to others’ stories. We feel extremely possessive about our story and our point of view. We get into this battle of egos, ‘I am right.’ The best part is that everyone involved uses these three words, ‘I am right’ with the same conviction. No wonder we stay stuck in our righteousness! In real terms, everyone is right, because each one is looking into their own mirrors. There are no rights and wrongs; there are only perspectives. Everyone is always right about his/her feelings. It is the details which show a different picture. If one of the affected parties takes the lead in validating others’ feelings, the resolution of conflict becomes a possibility. Is it possible for you to let go of your feeling of ‘being right’? Try it. You will feel much better. And the moment you let go of ‘being right’, others (faces in the mirror) will do the same.
• People often speak about something intangible called ‘my space’. Yes, we all need ‘our space’. Space establishes healthy boundaries. After all we can’t keep looking at the same mirror all the time. Space gives us time to reflect, to contemplate, and to be ourselves.
• Is it easy for you to come out of ‘your space’ from time to time and serve those you love? Actually who are these people you love? These are those mirror images of yours that you approve of. So by serving them, you are actually serving those aspects of yourself, that you ‘love’, the ones you are comfortable with. One universal law is that whatever we focus upon grows in our lives. So if you focus upon those aspects of yourselves that you ‘love’, they will grow. The best way to achieve this growth is by serving and acknowledging people you love. This service helps you open your minds to new possibilities. In this way you will not only unleash your potential, you will end up being joyful as well!
• There is a famous adage, ‘forget and forgive’. Well, I do not know about forgetting, but forgiving is an absolute must. Who are you forgiving, by the way? That mirror image of yourself, which you are uncomfortable with? Don’t forget, remember, that here is an aspect of myself, I need to forgive. Some person is bravely showing you a mirror image of yourself that you are denying. Shouldn’t you be grateful to this person? Remember that your purpose in life is to integrate all aspects of yourself. Forgiving is the only way to move forward.
• Are you holding onto judgments and criticisms? Who are you judging and criticizing? Some mirror image? Aren’t you stuck with the burden of high expectations? Expectations from whom? From yourself, of course. There is no one else. Others are just mirror images! Isn’t it time to be kind to yourself? Please break free of this unhealthy cycle. Let go of the pain of regret. Dump the heavy emotional backpack that you are carrying.
• If someone asks you to love yourself, who are you supposed to love? Yes, you must love every mirror image of yourself; and that means everything in your experience, including all people in your life. In fact, the only way you can love yourself is by loving your life. So say aloud, “I love my life, and everything, everyone in it.” Does it feel better?
• What about mistakes? Should we be perfect at all times or are we allowed to make some mistakes? Won’t the world be a boring place if everything in it was perfect? So let go of high expectations. Accept everyone and everything as it is. That is true self-acceptance. Let us acknowledge and tolerate our mistakes, only then can we transcend them or go beyond them!
If you follow these simple steps, you will discover self-love. This self-love will bring with it a sense of freedom, happiness, and healthy self-esteem. This is all you need to heal yourself. If you heal your relationships, you will be healed at all levels; social, economic, physical, psychological, and spiritual.