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Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall...

Everyone is familiar with the 19th-century fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. As you remember, in this story the queen boldly asks her mirror, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" She is outraged when the mirror answers that her stepdaughter Snow White is the fairest, and the queen sets out to destroy Snow White.

Wouldn't it be great to have a mirror that would answer your life questions?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Hollywood Walk of Fame Star for Snow White-

What If Our Life Is a Magic Mirror?

Imagine all the things you could ask. You could ask what is needed to create the life you desire, what is blocking true love from your life, or what is your next step toward a more fulfilling career.

Well, it just so happens there's an app for that.

Your life is your mirror. (It turns out that the queen was on to something!)

The mirror in the fairy tale shows the queen what she needs to develop to become "the fairest of them all." Snow White has the qualities the queen lacks: kindness, humility, and patience.

But because the queen wasn't willing to face her need to develop these qualities, she acted to destroy Snow White instead. She failed to see Snow White's good qualities as traits she could develop, too—becoming more beautiful in the process. Instead of being inspired by Snow White, the queen sought to destroy her.

Our Feelings as a Mirror Reflection

We all do this to some degree.

This defense mechanism is often referred to as projection or transference.

When we are jealous of someone, our feelings are the mirror urging us to develop the part of ourselves that is lacking or covered over with pain.

When something a person does incites anger and upsets us emotionally, our reaction holds the keys to our best selves. No one makes us feel jealous or angry.

Our reactions to other people are clues, signaling to us that something within us needs healing or reconciliation. By using the mirror of our life to guide us, we can discover what we need to change for that healing to occur. And sometimes, our mirror can have some broken edges.

Related reading: "How to Find Inner Peace by Resolving Conflicting Feelings" 

Young girl looking in broken mirro

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall... in a Love Relationship

Let me give you a personal example. When my husband and I were first married, it quickly became apparent that I was the "order freak" and he was the "messy one." A few years into our marriage (after that honeymoon feeling had worn off), I started to get bent out of shape because he would be reading the newspaper or watching television when there was clearly so much to do: dishes to wash, toys to pick up, bills to pay, grocery shopping to do, diapers to change... and on and on.

After months of struggling with my angst, one day I got curious instead.

I asked myself, "Why does my husband's behavior upset me so much?" When I allowed the emotional static to settle and I truly looked inside myself—instead of wanting him to change—I discovered something very important.

Limiting Beliefs Inhibit Connection and Love

My husband held the part of me that was screaming to be developed. What upset me was not the mess (although I do love an orderly and immaculate house). What upset me more deeply was that I didn't know how to relax. My mind habitually cranked through the zillion things that needed to be done and my inner critic heaped self-blame on top of it.

But beneath my inability to relax, guess what I discovered?

I uncovered a false belief that my self-worth was dependent on what I accomplished.

However, my husband was fabulous at BEING and was able to relax regardless of what was left undone. He knew how to unwind from his workday and unplug from stress. I did not.

PG_Life as a Mirror
Once I captured this insight and put it into practice, my life—and my marriage—changed dramatically, for the better.

Our relationship became a priority.

Instead of stressing and checking one more thing off my list, I began to value downtime more, relax, and enjoy the unexpected.

My knee-jerk reactions to my husband's messiness dissolved completely, and I began to really appreciate the quality of his mellow nature, which then poured more happiness into our relationship.

And being curious became a habit, too.

I continually found myself saying, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, what is it that I need to grow?" 
Woman chopping red radishes in the kitchen

The World Shows Us an Image of Our Internal World

If we pay attention to our life experiences, we'll see reflections of our internal world.

Understanding ourselves is a foundational part of emotional intelligence. The decisions we make are reflected in life's consequences and challenges.

It's like planting a garden: if you plant radishes, you get radishes, not carrots.

We plant in our lives, too, through our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and responses to people and situations. Our cumulative decisions in life create the mirror that reflects back to us our private little universe and reality.

Related reading: "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Emotional Mirroring for Others"

Are you still living from limiting beliefs?

Often, we are still operating from limiting beliefs or outdated decisions we made as children. Many times, the unconscious is running the show without us.

However, as soon as we pay attention to what the mirror reflects back to us, we begin to learn how to be better gardeners in our lives and relationships.

We may harvest pithy radishes this season, but if we plant something different (through more positive, loving thoughts and actions), we'll eventually have a much tastier harvest—and we'll see the results in the mirror of our life.

Man looking at his reflectionEven though this concept may seem more like a fairy tale than reality, I encourage you to keep an open mind.

Consciously using your life as a mirror is a powerful tool. Through mindfulness and attentive observation, we are capable of creating radical change. And at the same time, we have a fun way to learn and grow.

Our life is our mirror.

Whatever makes up our life now is directly linked to all our past thoughts, emotions, decisions, beliefs, mistakes, and so on.

If we are willing to take a serious look, our life (and everyone in it) will show us what we need to change in order to grow and live more fully.

For instance, perhaps you're tolerating disrespect in your relationship. This acceptance can mean you need more self-respect.

When we accept this challenge, we become wise gardeners of our own lives. We weed out what we don't like, and we plant new seeds of Snow White's happiness. "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"

Observe and listen to what the mirror of our life is telling you.

Once you decode the message, take action to create a life you love!

Check out our online course to learn more about emotional intelligence or empathy.

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Jennifer A. Williams / Emotional Intelligence CoachJennifer A. Williams / Emotional Intelligence Coach
Jennifer is the Heartmanity founder and an emotional intelligence expert. She has two decades of EQ experience and is the author of emotional intelligence training and courses. As an emotional fitness coach, Jennifer teaches EQ skills, brain science hacks, and a comprehensive approach that gets results. She is happily married and the mother of three incredible grown children.

Posted in Emotional Intelligence & Fitness

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