Mirrors and Things

I like the concept of a mirror, looking at something that reflects you utterly perfectly in physicality, but at the same time is utterly subjective based on your perception. You choose what you see, what you select when presented with the whole. What you see can represent your current modes of thinking. If you see an amazing figure and a friendly smile, then this suggests something quite different to the person who sees fat legs and terrible hair. Maybe.

Extend this to the people around you. Who are your mirrors? Think of the people that you spend the most time with, the environments that they are contained in. Think about what you think of them. And then apply this directly to yourself. It is easy to make a passing judgement on others, but turning that back on yourself is much harder. We judge ourselves hard, but generally within the soft parameters that we give ourselves. Maybe we are anxious because we had a childhood full of fear, we have the justification, but when faced with another, even someone close, in the same situation of feeling that way, we come up with solutions, with practicalities and advice. Why then is it so difficult to apply this to ourselves? Why do we come up with such good advice for others? Is it because we are naturally gifted at giving counsel? Or is it because we immediately latch on to the faults we perceive in others as extensions of the faults we perceive within ourselves? We are already the experts in how to fix us, so it is the simple, but not easy, issue of transferring this positive intention to improve others, to ourselves.

Map Point. What do I see when I look in the mirror?



My Mum

Last night I felt sort of sad, kind of reflective (if I watched television, I possibly wouldn’t have time to think about so many things. Maybe..) and I thought about my Mum and what it must have been like for her to watch me grow up, just as I see my own daughter’s life emerging. And I thought that for my Mum, it must have been hard.

She must have seen a quiet sort of child, always reading, always making things. Often my Mum now comments on how many things my daughter makes and I love the similarity between us. She must also have seen a child who was woeful at tidying up, and I recall often being told to go up to the bathroom and sort out my messy face. This is another similarity that I share with my young one!

As I started secondary school, she must have seen a girl who was becoming increasingly lost in her world of books, a child who struggled to remember to do her homework, a child who was starting to have panic attacks. I remember my Mum often asking me if anything was wrong, anything she could do to help. And no, there really wasn’t, because I didn’t really understand enough of anything at that stage to have the words to explain.

She saw a daughter who was put on anti-depressants around age fourteen, and that same child was requesting counselling, although she still didn’t know what it was she really wanted to talk about. I think that this must have been sad for her. I guess it is incredibly easy to see a life in terms of its bleakness. But at the same time, I know there is also a very different story running parallel.

She saw a daughter who played classical guitar and worked hard to achieve her gradings. A daughter who developed a lifelong passion for photography. A daughter who loved board games and talked about music and politics. A daughter that loved to dance. She saw her child achieve academically and go on to university (thank you, Mum, for ironing my labcoat xx).

She also saw that child turn into a woman. A woman who has done so many different things, not necessarily things that she would have done, but things that I know she feels a sense of pride in. I think that sometimes it is good to reflect on the amazing people who have supported me, loved me unconditionally and had gargantuan patience with some of my endeavours! As a daughter looking at my Mum, looking at her as my parent, I see love.

Map Point. Where do I see love?