Mirrors are terrifying things. One, for what they reflect about yourself that is true; and two, for what they do not reflect that you wish was true.
Mirrors are unrelenting in their honesty; they do not lie or cushion reality. Yet, they are also kind in that they don’t exaggerate. What you see is what you get—no more, no less. Then why do many a viewer accuse their looking glass of being a harsh, unforgiving critic? I believe it’s in the double-fold nature of the thing. A mirror is an object, made of reflective metal or glass; it’s not sentient—it has no thoughts or feelings. One cannot rationally blame their mirror for what they see in it. At the same time, your mirror is an instrument that reveals a part of yourself you often desire to forget. No wonder we hate them, even up to hiding or smashing them in horror or rage.
I’ve had my own quibbles with my mirror, employing a myriad of avoidance or selective viewing tactics. But I’ve realized that in detesting my mirror, I detest my reflection; and in detesting my reflection, I detest myself. Projecting my fears or disgust on an inanimate third party does not remove my issues with myself, it only delays them and the inevitability of confrontation. While I work at ignoring my own reality, I’m ignoring the deeper harm inflicted upon my soul.
I think we all know you can’t deal with a problem by avoiding it. However, self-reflection issues seem to be more vague, and therefore deeper, obscurer, more difficult to exorcise.
It starts with a willingness to be utterly honest with ourselves. Ask the hard questions, which are invariably the right questions. Embrace our truth, no matter what it looks like; in the end, our reflection is what we make of it.
And stop blaming our poor innocent mirrors.