I used to think mirror theory was getting tired.
I mean, it’s exhausting being ‘triggered’ by someone and having to turn it back around on yourself and ask, ‘What is it about this person that I haven’t yet seen and owned about myself?’ Ug.
But every single time I am hurt, annoyed or downright pissed off there is always, always something in it for me.
I think where most people go wrong with this theory, certainly in spiritual circles, is in one of two ways. They either forget (or don’t realize) that the mirror has two faces OR they act like they are THE mirror, doing the other a favor by highlighting all their shortfalls, conveniently bypassing any responsibility for their own behavior (aka an asshole).
Let’s begin with the mirror having two faces. The old adage ‘you spot it, you got it’ doesn’t really paint the entire picture for this theory. Let’s take the example of relationship.
If someone isn’t showing up for you (however you define that), does that necessarily mean you’re not showing up for them? No.
Many people make the mistake of recognizing their partner not showing up, then doubling their own efforts to show up, bending over backwards to prove themselves and their love in order to get that in return. Like it’s more ‘spiritual’ to be more loving. Yuk. That’s not how this works. I would argue that that was acting lovingly rather than being loving.
Maybe you just need to show up for yourself? Then watch the love roll in.
Your job; spot the asshole and leave them rather than contorting yourself into a lovable version worthy of said asshole. You’ll soon realize, that lovable version is unattainable. Your worth is actually standing in the face of this behavior, not allowing it or playing to it.
As for the assholes. Well, you’re clever. I want to acknowledge that first and foremost. You’re able to spot people’s insidious patterns and will usually state it so articulately and intellectually and with absolute certainty that no one would dare question you. And I love you. But don’t be surprised if people leave you.
Using the example of relationship again, it’s rather annoying having someone not recognize their place in the dynamic and craftily shift the weight onto the other. Maybe you’re right about the other’s behavior, but are you holding a mirror up to your own?
Your job; stop being an asshole. This sounds trite but it’s simple. All you have to do is ask yourself, how have I contributed to this dynamic? How can I share that with the other? And how can I partner with them to resolve this? If you can’t, then why not? Your worth is actually in humbling yourself.
Have I been either one of these? Sure. Both actually. Is that ok? Of course. Once we own that we have the capacity to be all things, we can get on with the business of living.