Friday, February 28, 2014

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

I was about stepping out of the house a couple of weeks back and like most of us do, decided to check myself out. Truly a mirror check of one's self is not all about vanity.

It's easy to smile now, especially because the 'disaster' did not happen. It was one of those bad-hair days and I’d chosen to use a scarf. A convenient bail out on days like that, but must also be well done to avoid 'stories that touch' I probably felt it wasn't my first time and could tie it without looking into a mirror. But that last look, that last minute of saying, “...mirror, mirror on the wall, am I as fair as I should be today?” was my saving moment. I'd tied it all wrong, with parts that shouldn't be revealed peeping out. Laughing at myself, I touched it up here and there, and dashed out.

I'm sure many of us have had similar experiences too, from wearing our shirts inside out, buttoning them all wrong, mismatching accessories or discovering food stuck on our teeth. This one left me with deeper thoughts on how important mirrors are. If we'll only be true to what we see and make appropriate touch ups, many disastrous images or wrong representations of who we are would be corrected just at the right time. For physical looks, I’m sure many ladies reading this, would be like....come on, I carry a mirror around, and take a quick peep at every reflecting metal I pass. However, this goes beyond the physical.

God has been kind enough to bless us with people around us, who could serve as mirrors. To help us with feedback on how we look, how we do, how we talk, how we treat others, and how we treat ourselves. Yes I know, some give these feedback in discouraging ways, at the wrong time and some even without being asked. The issue really is what we do with the reflections from these people-mirrors. Do we ignore? Are we humble enough to receive them and eventually make attempts to touch up? Or are we surrounded by people who tell us what we want to hear, not what we need to?

Bible readers are familiar with the scripture that talks about a man looking at himself in the mirror, and forgetting what he looks like afterwards. This verse not only helps us see our need to have the Word of God also as mirror for our lives, but encourages us to do something about what we see. It's either you're confident after looking into it to continue in the good graces. Or you are clearer on the gaps in certain life areas that need to be worked on - health, finance or relationships.

Let me  include the need for us to strike a balance with this. Some feedback or counsel will not be true, or in our best interest. Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Les Brown and many others became success stories despite the negative things they had been told. They were not deterred from their personal convictions on who they were or what they could do. For this I’ll say don't gaze too long into bad mirrors.

As I conclude, it is good to open up more to feedback, be more sincere with ourselves, and make efforts to improve. I also leave us with the challenge to be true mirrors for others. Not like those funny mirrors at fairs that give distorted images of a fatter, shorter, thinner version of the object but those giving accurate reflections. Our feedback should propel change, boost morale... as we speak the truth, even in love.