These days my personal growth and all the fun growing pains that come along for the ride have been occurring at a rapid rate. When I sit back and take a peek at things, I know I’m experiencing a lot of transition and with
this comes a whole array of emotions. One thing I’ve noticed is that as I’m experiencing my stuff, some people have been vocal about areas of my life they feel I need to focus on and change. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of different perspectives, advice and support and I’m known for actively seeking it out! What’s interesting is when I take a closer look, I notice some of these people are encouraging me to make changes in areas where they are choosing not to. It got me thinking about what’s behind this for the other person and why someone would try and inspire change in you in an area they won’t honor for themselves. Are they mirroring something back to me so I can make a change or are they avoiding themselves? I started thinking about the various ways we use mirrors and realized it’s not as straightforward as simply reflecting back stuff to others. So I dug a bit deeper and came up with some of my own insights on how this can express in other ways and how to make the most out of these gifts from the universe.
What is a Mirror?
Many of you are probably familiar with the term “mirroring” which is a behavioral technique often discussed in the work of healing professionals. Mirroring involves another person reflecting back to you things like a behavior, trait or belief that you display. Often, the person that reflects this back to you also shares the same thing. There are several reasons this is done and it’s frequently experienced on an unconscious level. One reason is to bring awareness of a part of yourself to you. The item in question typically isn’t positive and is one that could benefit from being looked at, shifted and/or released. Another way to recognize this is if you find yourself disliking someone or one of their traits, only to discover after some soul searching and self-honesty, that you actually share this same negative trait. The old adage, “If you spot it you got it” really comes into play here. This has happened to me more times that I can count!
Taking a closer look, there are many variances within mirroring and its expression. Recently I’ve been seeing more of what my friend Eddie Mullins (www.eddiemullins.com) fondly refers to as the “Mirror Disguise”. Much like mirroring, one person shares a negative trait that another person has and reflects it back to the other person. However, there’s a twist with the Mirror Disguise. With the Mirror Disguise, the person brings up their own issues through others and calls them out on the issue and then goes to great length to advise the other person on their problem. Meanwhile this same person avoids their identical issue and own healing work and focuses their energy and attention on you. Often times these individuals are stuck and resistant to any growth. The more stuck they get the more frustrated they become, and the more they place their focus on you to deal with your issue---the same one they’re not willing to look at.
Here’s an example of how the Mirror Disguise works. One person is unhappy in an area of their life and demonstrates victim behavior where they blame others for their issue. You have an exchange with them about a challenging situation you’re experiencing and they start telling you to create what you want and take personal responsibility and ownership. However, this person is not taking any of these steps and is choosing to deal with their personal issue with negative energy and blaming others. When this person does this, they’re using a protection mechanism and ultimately disguising their issue as your issue.
The Positive Side
When a person reflects back to you a negative trait that you possess, they’re usually unaware that in these moments they become your teacher. For the recipient, this is often a great opportunity to learn and view this as a gift if you’re willing to be a “tuned in” and conscious student. The universe wants you to learn, grow and expand and will provide countless opportunities for you to heal and transform yourself.
How to navigate these situations
Now that we’ve talked about this issue, it’s important to share some help in how to deal with someone who is using the Mirror Disguise with you. Here are some ways to navigate through these murky waters:
As individuals, we are regularly presented with opportunities to change, grow and heal. If we stay awake and present, we are better able to see these amazing opportunities in the moment and grow from them. Embrace all that the universe has to offer and know that you are deeply loved!