2 min read
29 Jul

      Every morning I wake up, go the bathroom, and look at myself in the mirror. Looking back at me is a lifeless man, a man devoid of joy, hope and purpose. I hated who I saw in that mirror and it was a constant reminder of why I wanted to die. Life seemed to run on repeat and I begged the universe for some kind of change. It happened in the form of a crazy old man, he looked like a wizard to me in his long robes, and his cane. He approached me out of the blue with a question, are you happy? I thought for a moment then responded, I don’t know anymore. I felt passing moments of happiness, but it never seemed to stay. Then the old man told me to come with him on a journey telling me I could rediscover real happiness. I had nothing to lose, after all I was stuck in the same cycle day after day, and I needed a break. Our first stop on the journey was to a bench in an uncrowded park. It seemed to have been an older, more forgotten park because it wasn’t upkept. The bench was rusted, and the vines overgrown, the trees freely swaying in the wind. There he asked me to tell my story, and he listened, nodding his head ever so slightly with compassion and understanding. When I had come to the end of my tale, he asked me what I saw when I looked in the mirror, and pulled one out of his pocket. He told me what we often see is a reflection of our inner world, and not one that realistically reflects the physical/outer world. I said with whatever truth I could manage that I hated the man I saw in the mirror. Deep down I knew I hated myself, but I never wanted to admit that out loud. 

     Then the man handed me the mirror, and said you know what I see? I see the boy who is struggling to be the man he wants to be. Your reflection is just fragments of the truth, fragments of who you really are reflected back at you. You see what you want to see when it benefits you, and when it doesn’t fit your reality, you despise it why? It's just like life that way and too often we tend to blur out the good because our reality is darker than that. We only know what it is to suffer so we chose to focus on that rather than the light, and the healing.  Eventually he said I know what you need to see to understand so let's go. In an instant this man opened up a portal to another world, and as we crossed over my eyes glistened in wonder. It was a world full of mirrors of all things, but they were different. I didn’t hate myself when I looked in these mirrors, and not all the mirrors showed me, they showed people that I had come across in my life.  He brought me to a mirror that had painful emotions for me. It was one of my abusers, and he said do you think you could ever forgive this man? In my agony I cried no, never, I wish the man dead and gone. He said just give it a moment, and think about it. In that moment the mirrors around me replayed my own past, my own regrets, my actions and one by one they fragmented then reappeared to the mirror directly in front of me. Looking back at me was myself, a fragment of myself that I hated. I was shown how my actions mirrored that of my abuser, and how my pain replayed parallel to theirs.       

     He commented that we so often strive to never be like the people we hate, but we often times mirror their actions later in life. He told me forgiveness was a choice, my choice to heal that fragmented part inside of me. We often times hold on to these fragments that only hurt us, but allow us to continue hating. So, what happens when you are shown that a piece of them lives within you, why you hate your reflection so much is because it is not an accurate reflection of you. It is the culmination of fragments that you have allowed to create of this false image of you. You hate yourself because you see them, and you hate them because you see yourself. You have the look at the mirror within your soul, your inner world to reflect who you are, not what they became inside you. It is in forgiveness that we can find ourselves, and we can repair the fragments of us, the real us.  Like a puzzle we remove the false fragments and rebuild the image of us in the mirror.  When the image we see in the mirror becomes distorted it is a sign that we are no longer reflecting our truths.   He asked me if I understood, and I told him I finally did. We continued our journey through his world until piece by piece the mirror became me.  When I looked back at my past reflections, it wasn’t me that I saw. It was the people who hurt me, fragmented me, and I was grateful for recognizing that.   

     Before we exited, he asked me again, do you believe you can find happiness now? I hugged him with all my strength and said I believe I can, and I'm going to find out. He smiled and sent me on my way back to that park. Transformation had happened in that park and it was no longer overgrown and unkept. The sun shined brightly, the colors of the trees were different, they were clear and beautiful. The Park bench had been repaired and repainted. When your inner world is at peace, it accurately reflects your outer world. That was something I didn’t understand until it was staring me in the face. Inner peace makes your outer world brighter, more colorful, and just like I repaired myself in that mirror world, the bench in the outer was repaired as well. 

-Mack  

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