Though I have a twin, I have always felt as if I were adopted. I felt different. As a toddler and as a child I observed my world as an outsider looking in. I had an adult perspective on life and quite often felt more mature than the adults I encountered. I felt awkward on the playground and just as ill-fit at home. It was not acceptable to ask others if I could play with them, I considered it rude; one must be invited and welcomed into a circle. Perhaps, in some way I had an experience or developed a belief in the cradle. Perhaps, it was the way of my Soul.
It was late evening. A bedside lamp cast a soft yellow the other side of my parent’s bed. My mother was lying in the middle, my twin sister nestled with her right arm and I on her left, my mother;s left arm was free to move. If I looked up past my mother’s head on her right, I could see the hall light shining brightly over the dark stair railing. The stillness of the home announced itself in this moment filling me with peace. My mother’s belly was heavy with child making it difficult to see over her. My mother was softly talking to my twin as she lovingly stroked her and face. I clearly remember thinking, “I wish she would talk to me the way she talks to her.” This would be the last thought I would ever choose to have concerning my perception of how each of us were treated as siblings. This was life and it was the way it was.
On Saturday mornings in the first grade, I would write letters to my father’s mother. Through the letters between my German grandmother and myself, I would feel an unspoken and unseen connection to another family in another world that accepted and loved me. My grandmother shared her family and reminded me of all the wonderful things about myself and encouraged me to do well. As a first grader, I read books on the fourth grade level in which I escaped my life momentarily living vicariously in the world of literature; once becoming the a young woman in a cave with a unicorn and once an orphan seeking a new family. I reveled in the freedom of changing my life in my minds eye. I loved the adventures taken from the safety of my own little corner, but the greatest gift of these treasured trips would be the ability to see from behind the eyes of another.
When other third graders were trying to force classmates and friends to choose a side during one of their battles, it escaped my abilities to figure out why everyone wanted to be a part of stupid fight where no one was right or wrong and everyone else wasn’t part of the disagreement. Why would I want to hate someone who did not do something to me? Why would I be mad at the other child when I truly had no idea as to what really happened? I would often reflect upon my own actions, concerned that I may be guilty of some crime that might hurt someone in the same way. I remember in Jr. High being close to tears as I apologized to someone for possibly hurting their feelings inadvertently. This daily self-reflection continues today in all areas of my life. Did I react with mindfulness and compassion? Was I out of line? Were my words positive and clear? Could I have said it better? Was I really the best I could be? How will I make it right?
We all have beliefs, opinions and emotional responses to people, events, actions and places based on our own personal experiences. We see out of our eyes from a platform built by what we heard, the events that we physically and emotionally felt, what we witnessed and what we experienced through our own actions. In every moment, we hear or see something new and the person we were a second ago has changed in some way. We may be touched in a way that we realize that we are blessed or we may sink further into a belief that no one can be trusted. We may be able to forgive a transgression which enables us to heal and change.
There is another element in the Circle of LIfe. I refer to it as the Magical Mirror, the aspect of seeing our own behavior good and bad through those we encounter.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, reflect to me the gifts and faults I reflect to all.
To use our mirror, we just remain non-judgmental, especially about our Self. We must put our emotions aside, they are just energy in motion (e-motions). Emotions are not feelings, emotions are energies we experience based on beliefs and experiences. We heal or do not heal based on our choice to see our experience from love or otherwise.
We may choose to forgive- or not. We may choose to move on – or not. We may choose to feel anger and hold a grudge- or not. Despite our choices, we do not see. We become caught up in the emotions rendering us helpless to understand that we are not the only ones hurting. We see the story of one our side, but we fail to see that perhaps we may have been party to the problem. “Mary” grew up with her childhood friend, “Elizabeth” well into their late forties. They raised hell, laughed hard, loved hard and shared secrets. One day, as a result of many conversations with a mutual friend of Mary and Elizabeth, Mary concluded Elizabeth used her as the brunt of jokes in front of other people, ridiculed her, demanded her to stop being emotional and Elizabeth talked about Mary as if she were not present. Mary found the courage and resolve to restore her dignity and take back her life. Defining her new boundaries, Mary made the difficult, but necessary choice to love herself more than she loved Elizabeth.
With heavy sadness Mary parted ways with Elizabeth and moved on. Mary remains unaware of the silver lining in this act of self love. At that time, Mary could not and still does not see that Elizabeth was and is a mirror of her own behavior. Mary, herself, behaves in the same manner toward those she loves in her close friendship and family circles. She judges actions and motives, ridicules, shares secrets and divulges vulnerabilities. Mary prefers making many new friends over cultivating a more trusting and loving relationship with those who love her. She forgives friends and overlooks their faults, but is unable to do the same with family. Choosing sides as she did in childhood in the effort to fit in still continues for Mary, but in a more subtle manner. She has changed, but being conscious and questioning the meaning of her daily interactions with others eludes her as it does for most of us. Unfortunately, without the mindful considerations of her suffering by Elizabeth;s actions; the very same actions that she herself commits, Mary will suffer the same scenario again and again. .Like all of us who do not see ourselves in the mirror, Mary will continue to have friends that betray her trust in the very manner in which Elizabeth hurt her. As Mary learns more sophisticated and invisible acts of attaining power and protecting her image through harmful words and actions, her Soul will continue to remind her of what she is here to overcome and learn by arranging for new situations that mirror Mary in the faces of others. This is not to say that Mary’s most wonderful, compassionate and loving deeds will not be returned to her, they will, tenfold. The intention is to be mindful as to whether the source of our own frustration and pain is indeed our own Self’s actions being reflected through our Magical Mirror.
As you live, you shall receive isn’t just about karma, it is also about learning and rising above human nature.When we forget why we are here in physical form and what our Souls need to heal, we are reminded through our experiences and quite often than not, painfully so. It is imperative to acknowledge that when we are on the receiving end, we may be learning our own lesson or we may be in a mutual agreement to help each other rise above an experience . Quite often, we become frustrated, angry or hurt at the person who is acting out the very behaviors we are most guilty of. we cannot or in some cases, will not see ourselves in this magical mirror provided for us to overcome another obstacle for our Soul and Higher Self to rise in standing with our Creator.