There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. Edith Wharton
When I was in the business of performing weddings, I always took the opportunity to remind couples that, in a very real sense, each was a mirror for the other. Whenever a wife gazed at her husband, it is often not the husband she sees but rather the wonder of herself. The same is true for a husband encountering his wife. Each spouse in tasked with a profound power, the power to make or break the self-worth of your partner.
When I Look at You I see the Value in Me
It may be a startling idea, but you are a mirror for other people to discover their own value, even when they are feeling “less than.” If my wife sees me as a valuable, loving, and contributing member of our family she cannot help but to demonstrate that in her eyes and smile and demeanor. I look at her and oddly I feel good about myself.
We all need mirrors—all the more reason to become mirrors reflecting the goodness in people, especially when they are particularly feeling a sublime sense of goodness within themselves.
Not the Absence of Judgment but the Presence of Love
I was listening to a lecture by psychotherapist Jim Finley. He talked about how so many of his clients “felt safe” in his presence and in his office. Jim was quick to point out that while most people attributed their feelings of safety to the lack of judgment and condemnation they found in the therapists domain, there was something more impactful and even more stubble to going on.
Jim Finley was able to discover the goodness of every person in his office and the to transmit that goodness by means of non-verbal communication—eyes, tone, gestures, and facial expression.
What if we all took on that responsibility? Instead of looking at the competition or the roadblocks we often find in others, what if we looked for their goodness and their need to be affirmed? And what it we were the ones with that assignment?
What if we saw in others the light of the divine, created in the image of God?
As Mirrors of Goodness, I believe our impact on the world would magnify substantially.
Look at Me
I am the Best Mirror You Will Ever Gaze Into
Photo courtesy of Kuzmichstudio at istockphoto