I used to subscribe to the belief that the Law of Mirroring applies to all situations all the time.
When there’s something about someone that irritates me — reasonably or not, especially the seemingly unreasonable or trivial ones — that person is actually reflecting back to me a part of me, a quality or a trait that I have not fully accepted and embraced in me.
I’m the one with the issue, an unresolved one, that’s why I’m being triggered. That’s why I judge the other person’s behavior and put malice into what they’re saying or doing. They really have no ill intentions, and I am simply reading the person ‘wrong.’ Reading too much into them. Judging them. Otherwise, why the over-reaction?
In other words, it’s merely my dark shadow.
Likewise, when there’s something that I admire in someone, that trait is a quality that is also within me which I have yet to tap or develop. I have the potential to also be like them. I need only to muster enough courage to take steps towards developing such a potential.
It is my bright shadow.
In short, it’s all a projection.
We’re all projecting to each other — the pleasant and the not so pleasant parts of ourselves. It is why we are triggered. It is why we react — sometimes violently or unreasonably. Sometimes to the surprise of the one to whom we are projecting. At times, we surprise ourselves with our own ‘over-reactions.’
I used to believe that and think that way.
Not anymore — thankfully.
I’ve learned and realized that the Law of Mirroring isn’t all-encompassing.
There most certainly are moments when what I see, feel, sense, intuit about the other, that which elicits an highly emotionally charged response from me is, in fact, the warning voice of the Wise One. My Inner Crone. The alarm has been set off. An untruth about the other is being revealed, and I am simply able to discern it.
Trust is my core issue. Lack of trust. Overly trusting. Mistrust. Self-trust.
A root chakra issue.
Trust is a core issue of those who have been severely wounded during the infancy stage. Learning and developing the art and skill of discernment therefore, is an important tool for me in my journey towards balance and integration.
“The trust versus mistrust stage is the first stage of Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. This stage occurs between birth and approximately 18 months of age. According to Erikson, the trust versus mistrust stage is the most important period in a person’s life.”
Discernment may get a little bit more tricky in cyberspace where we cannot see the other’s facial expressions and bodily reaction. We cannot hear their tone of voice.
But that’s just physical.
We still can see and hear. We can see through. We can hear through. We can see and hear through what they are and are not saying. We can feel, sense, intuit.
And we need to trust our own feelings, senses and intuition — no matter what the other is or isn’t saying. Discernment is the key.
In fact, I’m realizing that cyberspace can be a most effective and fitting training ground for developing discernment — primarily because we cannot physically see and hear the other.
This recent Facebook post from Jeff Brown explains this concept of mirroring and reflection so eloquently. Another timely and much-needed reminder and validation!
“I appreciate the value of looking at the question of whether my judgments about another are a reflection of parts of me that I don’t like and that I want to deny. Sometimes they are. At the same time, lets not throw reality out with the bath water. Sometimes our judgments are actually reflections of a conscious discernment process — we dislike certain qualities, actions, an absence of integrity — for legitimate reasons. The “mirror defense” (your reaction to another is merely a reflection back to you) was likely invented by gurus who wanted to get away with inappropriate behavior. There is a meaningful difference between unconscious judgments and conscious discernment. Not everything is a projection. Sometimes we are seeing things exactly as they are.”
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