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Mirror Mirror

July has two eclipses; I am writing two blogs. The first eclipse (July 2nd) was solar, which relates to our ego, the conscious aspect of the self. This second eclipse (July 16th) is lunar, which relates to our subconscious. The planetary configurations around this lunar eclipse are calling relationships into the spotlight, and not in a gentle or easy manner.

Relationships are some of our biggest teachers. Other people act as mirrors. They show us the aspects of ourselves that we are unable to see.

This life is such a mysterious, magical phenomenon. When we start paying attention, we see that there is no such thing as coincidence. Everything is a mirror. If we are seeing something in the world, it means that we are doing it at some level. If we don’t believe that we are doing it, this means it is taking place in our subconscious and the only way it can be brought to conscious awareness is through interaction with another. We should be grateful for these opportunities.

Sometimes, these opportunities feel glorious. Maybe a person comes into our lives who radiates love and compassion. Maybe a person shows up who is the embodiment of our dreams and goals. If we are seeing them, we are seeing aspects of our own potential.

Other times, these opportunities feel unnerving and frustrating. Maybe a person comes into our lives who is aggressive or inconsiderate. Maybe a person shows up who is always complaining and playing the victim. If we are seeing them, we are seeing aspects of our own shadow.

When we encounter the hidden aspects of ourselves through others, especially the difficult ones, we tend to get angry. We desperately wish for the other person to behave differently. We direct all our energy at pointing out their flaws and holding the spotlight firmly on them. This is unproductive.

In these cases, our best action is to witness the behavior or personality trait in another, and then let them be. We can thank the universe for giving us this mirror. Then, we get to work. We point the spotlight within and ask ourselves the question: “Where am I doing this in my life?”

For example, maybe I witness someone struggling, and I can see a clear solution. Maybe I see that they are refusing to relinquish the illusion of control. Maybe they are somehow benefiting from their struggle. Again, I go back and look at myself and ask, “Where am I not being honest with myself?” “Where am I trying to control and manage?” “Where am I refusing to surrender?” “Where am I benefiting from my pathology?”

Maybe I see someone who always has a need to be right, who has no capacity for listening. I need to ask myself, “Where am I holding too tightly to a given perspective?” “Where am I refusing to receive?” “Where am I refusing to hear?”

Maybe I see someone who has so much potential, so much to give, but they consistently self-sabotage. I need to ask, “Where am I holding myself back?”

On the flip side, it is also important to take note of any potential strengths that may be hidden from our conscious awareness. We might see a person really showing up for others. We might spend time with someone who really makes us feel valued. We might hear someone speaking from a place of truth and wisdom. In these instances, we can ask ourselves questions such as, “Where am I being reliable?” “Where can I be more reliable?” “Where am I expressing genuine curiosity and interest in others?” “Where can I express more curiosity and interest in others?” “Where am I practicing congruency and using my gifts to inspire others?” “Where could I stand to be more congruent and make better use of my gifts?”

When I do this exercise, I like to take pen to paper. There is something incredibly transformative about writing. In fact, even on days when I have not had any particularly notable interactions, I still like to do a recap at the end. I ask myself, “What was I shown today?” “Were there any themes?” Then I quickly run through the day and jot down the first things that strike me.

Upon gathering this information, I have an opportunity to sit with the parts of myself that are either calling for healing or calling to be birthed into reality. I can then incorporate these into intentions or prayers. I can bring them up when I go in to receive healing sessions.

The most important thing in this process is to not be afraid to look directly at our shadow selves, to not feel ashamed. We all have these aspects. So often, we deny them, repress them, or try to push them away.

Any time we try to “drive darkness out with the light”, we perform an act of aggression. When we create a label and designate one thing as ‘good’ and another as ‘bad’, we are reinforcing the split of duality. This is not how unconditional love works.

My suggestion is to embrace the totality.

Shunning, resisting, fighting, and pushing only exacerbates the wound; the work will be left undone. If we embrace our shadow parts and learn to accept and love even the vile aspects within, we can heal and transform. The practice of gentleness begins with self.

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