Your Reflection

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”  Thomas Merton

When I was a young child (I’m now a much older child), I became angry at my big sister.  I don’t recall the argument.  However, I do remember becoming so angry that I started shouting and calling her horrible names.  This was somewhat out of character for me.  Regardless, out of my mouth came a volley of nasty adjectives designed to inflict intense emotional pain.

To my great annoyance, my sister remained completely calm.  In fact, she looked quite bored about the situation.  To my dismay, her only reply was, “You are what you say you are.”

This was not the response I had hoped for.  Her words stopped me in my tracks and made me think.  “What had she just said?”  I wondered how my words, specially crafted to inflict great suffering, could possibly be a reflection of who I was?

I don’t remember what happened next.  However, I do recall the deflated feeling of having had the wind taken out of my sails, …or was it the feeling of standing on a sinking ship?

On that day, I learned two lessons.  For one thing, calm is far more powerful than the storm.  For another thing, my sister’s words became a mirror to reflect who I was being.  Her words did not reflect my true nature.  However, I was being hateful in that moment and her words were a mirror to show me see this.

Anger and cruelty are never part of anyone’s true nature.  It’s not who we are.  However, negative is what we can be if we don’t catch a glimpse of our behaviour as it is reflected by others.  Our world is simply a reflection of our own thoughts, words and actions.

Think of three people, living or dead, that you admire most.  Take a moment to write down ten of their greatest attributes one by one.

Everybody is a mirror.  The attributes you most admire in another person are the attributes that you yourself have.  If you love Einstein’s brilliance and quick mind, chances are very good that you have a lightning quick mind.  If you admire Buddha and his ability to meditate his way to enlightenment, it means you too are a Buddha in the making.  The attributes you most admire are also clues to who you really are and what your mission is in this lifetime.


  1. I like this Elizabeth. I was just thinking about relationships and forgiveness as a theme and you have perfectly mirrored what I was thinking about! And I could use it too : ).
    Thank you,