A lousy mirror can ruin a good day shopping. Have you ever noticed how the mirrors in some clothing stores seem to magnify wrinkles, imperfections, and ‘roundness’? And then there are the kinder mirrors that make us look, well, not so bad. The reflection we receive of ourselves can be powerful, and I’m not just talking about the mirrors at Macy’s.
From the time we are infants, we are all receiving messages, reflections of who we are. The way our primary caretakers respond to us and interact with us informs us in many ways. Are we important? Will our needs be met? Are we safe? Is the world safe? The most important mirrors in our lives come in the form of human beings, for better or for worse. Some of the most heartbreaking work I do as a therapist is to try to undermine faulty reflections that came from a parent, grandparent, or important person in my client’s life.
You see, generally children will reflect what others mirror to them. If an alcoholic parent mirrors inconsistent behavior, playful and loving in one instance, angry and abusive in another; the mirror has spoken. Depending on a child’s temperament, what it has said may differ. Some possibilities are ‘I cannot trust that I will be safe; therefore I will hide’, or maybe ‘If I could just be good enough, then this wouldn’t happen.’
If our mirrors have been faulty from childhood, there is often a lot of rewiring that needs to be done. Those messages and reflections we received have the potential to take us down a road of destruction. But they don’t have to. One of my favorite mirrors is the one I hold up to hear my Heavenly Father say “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God’, 1 John 3:1” And I especially like the way I look in “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful”, Psalm 139:14.
God's truth provides us with a mirror we can always trust!
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