The people in our lives tend to serve as mirrors - reflection - of our strengths, our best qualities, even our challenging qualities. We rely on accurate mirroring from the moment we come into this world to develop a sense of self. In our mother's face, we see our own face and come to know ourselves and our place in the world. Inaccurate mirroring puts us at risk of taking in negative images of ourselves, ideas about our character that may not be true, but start to feel true if the messages start early and are constant and chronic.
When reflecting on the beliefs you have about yourself, consider the reflection you receive from others. Reflect on the moments that stung (those tend to stick) but strive heartily to gather up the positive reflection you have also received. It can be hard at first to know what feedback to trust. Perhaps this guideline can be helpful to you going forward:
Look only in the mirrors that feel most true.
Not the mean ones, not the critical ones, not the ones that try to talk you out of your feelings or dismiss you outright. The ones that don’t make you feel good are not accurate mirrors.
Look to the kind ones.
The mirrors that appreciate you, that reflect your value and your worth. The mirrors that laugh with you and nod - knowingly and sincerely. Positive reflection can at times be difficult to take in. Try.
Look to the challenging ones.
Honest mirrors are not always easy to look into. We all need to face things about ourselves that we don’t always like.
But a mirror must be kind for it to be worth considering.
And it must feel right to you.
Trust that you will know which mirrors serve you.
Trust that you will know what feels true.
Something that is not true will burn. It will anger you. You may feel a fight in you rise up. Or you may feel yourself collapse.
Whereas when it is accurate, when it is true, something deep will stir inside of you. Something that feels like joy. You may find yourself smiling, feeling delighted by feeling seen. You might find yourself feeling empowered, hopeful, and motivated.
When you walk away from someone feeling good about who you are - chances are good that is a mirror you can trust.