Imaginal Self

People can be mirrors for our shadow

What does it mean to be a mirror?

A mirror gives you a reflection, like pointing out the spinach you had sitting in your teeth.

People can be mirrors that help us see our blind spots in behavior, like pointing out how bitchy we are to that one family member.

Some people go off into solitude for years to do their inner work. While I think self reflection is powerful, challenging, and necessary work, we also have the convenience of never having to look at ourselves and the places that need growth. Our weaknesses may never be brought out and illuminated in our consciousness if we are never encountering the challenges that others bring up for us.

I once experienced the power of others illuminating my blindspots on a massage table. The therapist touched a muscle in the back of my shoulder that I truly had no awareness of. That area in my body was out of my awareness until it was brought to my attention by touch.

While it may be quite challenging sometimes, I welcome people to poke my sore spots (mentally and physically). It helps bring them to my awareness so that I can give them the attention they need with my massage balls, yoga practice, or therapeutic tools.

Not only do people reflect things to us physically (like a sore spot or something stuck on your face) but they can also illuminate things happening emotionally and psychologically.

When I get immensely triggered by another’s actions or words, I have learned to get kind of excited (weird, I know). Yet, it has become a powerful practice to see triggers as an opportunity for growth that can reveal hidden parts of myself.

My dad firmly tells me regularly, “breakdowns lead to breakthroughs” and while this can be quite annoying to hear from my dad during a breakdown, it is ultimately a really good reminder to help me redirect my mind to start to search for a breakthrough.

Breakdowns don’t inherently lead to breakthroughs. This is an attitude choice. In fact, we all know people who have chosen to stew in their self righteous anger, victimhood, or resentment for years.

Yet, when we choose to “try on” (like a jacket at the store) the belief that “breakdowns lead to breakthroughs,” we begin to look for the opportunity to learn something about ourselves and grow from the lesson.

Looking for what is underneath the breakdown is an endless game of self discovery.

I have found all kinds of childhood wounds, bullshit belief systems, and unconscious patterns that have reeked havoc in my life. Bringing these things to my conscious awareness allows me to finally send love and compassion where it has been much needed. It is from this place of awareness that I can consciously choose to not let unconscious patterns continue to sabotage my life.

The beauty of this perspective is that once you choose to engage with the world through the filter of “everyone can teach me something,” we can stop being afraid of challenging situations or people.

They now become beautiful opportunities to practice what we have learned through our personal development work.

So go have some fun and see what you discover through the awesomely illuminating emotional explosions that come out of living, loving, and playing the game of life.




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