FMM 9 12 14 “Mirror, mirror, on the wall…”
“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”~ William Shakespeare
The full moon shone through my window this week. I can remember the moon in Jamaica, rising up over the cane piece and lighting up my bedroom. It would be so bright you could read by its silver light. The yard outside would be bright, colors grey-washed, shadows long, yet you could see every glass blade, every stone. It is hard to believe that Lady Moon merely bounces the light from the sun, yet she herself is a cold orb.
I now have an extra mirror in my bathroom. I couldn’t believe how bright the room was, without any extra light bulbs. It made me reflect on reflections. I realized that we can be like a mirror to those around us. We can reflect back the beauty, the potential, the good that we see in them. So many of the opinions we hold about ourselves grow out of the views of others, especially those we heard when we were young. And if we heard negative things, then we grow up doubting our ability to do Math, to be good in school, to be beautiful, to shine. On the other hand, if we were given uplifting, positive messages, we grew up knowing we could conquer the world.
We sometimes take offence at someone’s actions or words, and mirror that attitude back at them. And so a situation which should have been ignored becomes a violent confrontation, when it could have been tamped down. How often do you react to a situation based on a perception, an incorrect assumption, misreading, mishearing, and then overreacting? And the law of unintended consequences sets of a chain of events far out of proportion to the original act.
Suppose instead we consciously monitor our reactions, and actively try to be a mirror of the positive, choosing to reflect only the good, ignoring the bad? Suppose we were to overlook, forgive, allow the benefit of the doubt to others? Perhaps our mirror is faulty, behaving instead like those fairground mirrors that distort and magnify the deeds and actions of others. Perhaps our mirror is dirty, smudging and scarring the appearance of the other. What intention did we bring to the encounter in the first place?
The nurse has always to be conscious of what she brings to a human encounter. When a person is suffering, in pain, dealing with bad news, he looks at the face of the nurse for confirmation, for hope, for acceptance. If the nurse is unable to display that support, she adds to the suffering. In displaying optimism, the nurse reflects strength back to the patient, creating a healing environment in that moment of acceptance.
I have a granddaughter that is the mirror image of her mother – not so much in looks as in actions. She bounces back every phrase, every wisecrack that she hears, and makes up many originals of her own. She is a student of human behavior, watching and observing interactions around her. You wonder how they learn so fast, these young ones. They learn from us, so we have to be watchful of the examples we model.
A friend of a friend, who became my friend, died this week. He was a man who could laugh at adversity, and turn sorrow into joy. His wicked sense of humor could light up the dullest situation. I know he is up there getting an angel in trouble, finding where the best food is, making the most serious saint laugh. His presence could always light up a room.
How clean is your glass? Do you reflect the best or the worst in others? Facebook is a strange world, with bits of information appearing on your page. Do you delete or hide the negative, or jump on a bandwagon of complaining and negativity when it appears, only to discover later that you were misinformed? How careful are you to vet, to research, to counter rather than to add to distortions and delusions. Some weeks ago we discovered that Facebook had been performing unethical research on participants – manipulating the stories that would appear on the page to see how people reacted. Perhaps we should be more discriminating, thinking for ourselves instead of being pulled into time-wasting commentary.
With all the gifts we have been given, we need to be more mindful of how we use them. This Friday morning I hope you will reflect on your own actions, take a look at yourself and see if you have been showing your best side to the world. Have you thought about what you are reflecting back on others? Can you help one person to see themselves differently? I have that challenge each day as I try to help students see themselves as nurses, and all that that means.
Have a great weekend Family! Wesley, try not to get into too much trouble up there!
Namaste (I wish to tweak this word to mean: The light that is within me reflects the light that is in you – if anyone knows Sanskrit and can give me that word I would appreciate it!).