Do I posses a reliable and trustworthy mirror?
Do I like what I see when I look at it?
These questions are what most people who are self-aware ask themselves whenever they look at their reflections. I am no stranger to it. For someone who seemed so self-possessed and confident when in other people’s company, I’ve been beset with self-doubt and the annoying inner critic blues from time to time. As I gradually mature, I learned that you create the reflection you wanted to see. The mirror is just there to show you what you want to see – whether it’s the truth or a lie. Therefore, it’s better to look inside rather than the superficial image of someone you sometimes do not recognize anymore.
What changes reflections?
Change is supposed to be for the better. But, for those whose ambition have blinded them along the way, they change for the worse. These types often look at the mirror and see themselves as uber-humans. They feel invincible . . . indestructible . . . and soon they are unable to recognize themselves upon reflection because they’re so much into the lie that it’s hard to tell it from the truth. They are unaware that they’ve become someone unpleasant, and no one around their immediate circle has the gumption to tell them of these faults. They go on living like nothing out of the ordinary is wrong. They continue to be frankens, thinking they’re on top of the world when the journey towards that peak was one riddled with heartaches and pain. The lie will continue unless someone steps up and set them straight. But most of often than not, interventions with this type lead to unpleasant outcomes. They either shun the truth and become hostile, completely disregarding the facts, or they become so affected by it that the change will happen extremely drastic. However, it never hurts to try and rehabilitate the self-obsessed. With enough push, their reflections will change for the better.
Then, there are those whose vanity (the physical and societal kind) govern their lives, shrouding it will a lie. They may start out not being vain at all, but at a certain passing of time, they’ll change and become monsters. They look at their images – their looks and societal positions – and found it absolutely great when other sets of eyes think otherwise. Their eyes and inner self lie to them every time they look in that mirror.
I feel bad that people around them cannot even give an honest-to-goodness advice, let the cat-out-of-the-bag and just be honest by setting things straight. They go on with their lives, seeing their friends, relatives or acquaintances think everything’s jolly good when it’s not. I find it mean and irresponsible not to care enough to intervene. BE A FRIEND. There’s no need to hold yourself back from telling the truth because I believe that when intentions are good, it won’t hurt to be honest.
SEGUE: I am fortunate that I’ve been blessed with honest friends who can set me straight whenever I’m going overboard or I’m looking like shit. Since I’m one of those people who can’t take compliments gracefully because I sometimes feel it’s not sincere or it’s done with a motive. I am so paranoid sometimes that it makes it hard for the giver of compliment to make me believe. It makes them utterly frustrated whenever I brush the compliment off and change the subject. I guess that’s just the way I am. After not getting any compliments or even a slight acknowledgement of a job-well-done during my formative years, I haven’t had the urge to receive them now that I’m older. However, when I get a serious and honest T-R-U-T-H from said friends, I listen. I just don’t get it over my head because I know for a fact that those compliments doesn’t make a person who he or she really is.
Anyway, reflections of one’s self can change. It all depends on willpower and self-awareness.
The total lack of knowing one’s self is the root of regrets that will later on manifest.
Why? It’s because people who are not aware of their faults and misgivings end up hurting people, and in turn, themselves. Not knowing yourself also inhibits you from realizing how great you can be. Therefore, you’ll end up with sour bedfellow in old age named Regret.
Honestly, I am so afraid of that image. The fear of having a later life full of regrets propelled me to strive harder in becoming a better person – to myself and to others before it’s too late.
For the past couple of years before I learned to quell my negativity and channel all that negative energy into an outlet that will yield positivity, I believed that the mirror I posses was crap. When others become too vain or full of themselves while looking at their reflections, it did the opposite for me. The more I stare, the more things I don’t like pops up, resulting to . . . [drum roll] . . . negativity.
But now, gazing at my reflection, I see someone who struggled through years of low self-esteem and had triumphantly hammered down the walls that had protected me from being hurt and become someone who can stand in front of hundreds of people and talk about confidence.
I have won over self-doubt (which rears its ugly . . . ugly head from time to time especially when I’m feeling a bit hormonal and out of sorts), and I haven’t been happier in years. Yes, I still struggle, but I am better than before.
The inner me is still playing catch up with the persona I show the world – a self-contained, confident and oftentimes opinionated individual. Soon – I hope – I wouldn’t take a lot of effort to play catch up anymore because everything will be well-balanced, harmonious and well-coordinated. Even if I’m still not completely at my best now, I am looking forward to a future where regrets have no place in my life and when I see my reflection in the mirror, I can genuinely smile and feel good.