One of the best allies to have, in the world, is someone who mirrors back to us our best qualities. For me it is encouraging when another person mirrors creativity, expansiveness and playfulness to me, as these are qualities I express when I am living fully as myself.
In her excellent workbook, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again, Julia Cameron calls these dear people believing mirrors because they help us see the best in ourselves, help us believe in ourselves, and help us to silence fears, doubts, perfectionism, and countless other negative beliefs that can seriously limit or block our authentic self from shining.
I have wonderful believing mirrors in my life, friends and family members who support and encourage my journey. I’m grateful for each one. It is my desire to be a believing mirror for others and cheer them on as well by reflecting back to them their true natures.
What about when we are alone, however, and look in the mirror? What story do we tell ourselves then?
Thinking about believing mirrors brought to mind the magical one featured in the well known fairy tale, Snow White. I felt the stirrings of something deeper when I recalled that the Queen in the story stood daily before that enchanted mirror and recited:
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?
The Queen was focused on physical appearances, not living from a whole and creative heart. Fear of not being enough drove the Queen to question the mirror everyday and although it was not a believing mirror, it was honest.
My Queen you are the fairest in the land.
But the day came when the mirror informed the Queen that another, Snow White, was “a thousands times more beautiful” than she was. I’ve always speculated that perhaps that mirror could, after all, see beyond outer beauty, to make such a dramatic declaration. We know how that story ends. Inner beauty won over surface beauty.
We get the moral of the story in Snow White…and yet, what do we see when we look in the mirror? And more importantly, what do we think and believe?
I’ve been turning that question over in my mind all day, and in response, created my own words to recite into the mirror.
Mirror mirror on the wall, when I look at you, you can’t show all.
You can’t hear my laugh, or see my heart, watch me journey or create great art.
You reflect my face but that is all you see. The only one who can reveal the deeper truth…is me.
Those words shift my perspective and remind me of what is true, and what true beauty is. May I be a believing mirror for the people in my life. And may you find within yourself your own truth about who you are, really, and recite it when it’s just you alone with that mirror on the wall.
Mirror, mirror on the wall…