In the last post, “The Mirror Part One” http://cronesapprentice.com/2015/08/14/the-mirror-part-one/ I asked you to imagine yourself in front of a full length mirror and reflect on how we perceive ourselves based on outside influences like current news and social media and how those influences can effect our ability to trust our own uniqueness.
Today I’m going to ask you to imagine that full length mirror again but this time instead of gazing on your own image, adjust your vision and focus on the images in the mirror that are behind you. No doubt you can see everything clearly but are the images reflected exactly what’s behind you?
Our memories of the recent past are a lot like looking backwards in a mirror. You can recall the event easily, maybe recount the facts fairly accurately but the act of looking backwards and seeing a mirrored image will distort the view.
There are always three sides to every story.
Yours, mine and the truth.
Two people can witness the same event but both will remember it slightly differently. We use our experiences, bias’s and preferences to make sense and to help us recall what happened.
Several years ago, my husband and my son where T-Boned by another car in an intersection as it ran a red light. The two witnesses swore that it was my husband who hit the other guy. One said he came from one direction and the other witness said he came from the opposite direction. Both saw the accident and both saw it wrong. A crash investigation plus a security camera on an adjacent building proved my husband did not cause it.
Perhaps both witnesses blocked out aspects of the accident because it brought up other, painful memories for them. Maybe it was just the shock of witnessing an accident that mixed up their mental images. I am sure they were amazed to find out what really happened. The point is that what we see and what we remember are not always the same thing and that memory can definitely flaw our beliefs moving forward.
Now look again at your imaginary mirror but this time focus on your own reflection again while looking at what’s behind you using your peripheral vision. Of course you know what is behind you, you were just looking at it but now, being in the outer edges of your line of vision, are the images blurry?
That is what your distant memories are like. You can recall the outline of the memory but the details are hazy. Even strong memories of important events in our lives get distorted. With every recollection and every re-telling, we tint the memory. Was that what my mom told me about what happened, am I colouring my perspectives by remembering other peoples memories of the same event as well?
Maybe it had been a fond memory and now something has happened to spoil it. The layers that are added through the years all work to alter our distant memories.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou
This is the one thing that you will not be able to see reflecting behind you in your imaginary mirror; the emotions, but it is the one thing that you will remember.
I forgot almost everything I got for Christmas as a child but I can tell you without a doubt that I still remember feeling excited and happy, full of wonder and loved. Those emotions have never changed over the years.
In order to step forward on our life path and embrace our true calling we need to be aware of what we see reflected in ourselves in the present and what is being reflected behind us from our recent and distant past and how our conditionings have coloured these memories so that they are no longer factual to who we really are today.
We must stop reflecting and walk around that imaginary full length mirror and step forth into the unknowable future. Only when we choose to focus on what’s ahead, will the false perceptions we use to operate our current situations and the shadow memories that hold us back with memories of fear and inadequacy loosen their hold on us.
You are not your past. It will only trip you up if you try to step forward while you continue to focus on what’s behind you.
We live in the present but here too we must be aware of all the societal traps that hold us firmly in place when we choose to internalize opinions and beliefs that don’t serve our higher purpose.
Put the blinders of purpose and fortitude on and take a step into your future. They will help you narrow your view and focus your path.
Then once you are confidently moving forward again, to achieve a more balanced approach replace that imaginary one-way mirror with a two-way mirror. That way you can reflect what you are seeing both from the past and the present when necessary as well as boldly look ahead through the mirror with the assurance that no outside forces such as current popular opinion can look back through to taint your forward looking view.