I read the Medium story “The mirrors that life presents” and it made me think. I’m sure many of you could relate to the idea it presents, just like me. As a human growing up among other humans, I upheld the silly notion that I was different from everyone else. Does everyone have this thought? If you're a pessimist like me, you think you are less attractive, less smart, less funny than others. You label yourself as less than because in your eyes, you just don't measure up.
But what if you saw yourself, not through the clouded lenses of your own eyes, but through the clear vision of others? Those who interact with you might just see you differently. Maybe they like your smile or your dry sense of humour or your unique talents, or all of the above. Maybe they see themselves in you. Maybe they want to be you.
Does life really hold up a mirror so that we can see ourselves? Do the people that come and go from our lives like the ebb and flow of water on a beach come to remind us of who we were, who we are, and who we could be?
I was a child who always thought she was less than. I'm not sure when it started; it seemed like it was always there. The glass was half empty, I was half empty. I couldn't seem to fill up, no matter what I did or didn't do, what I ate or didn't eat. The emptiness ate away at me until I found myself a skeleton with nothing more to give.
I'm not sure how I came back to life. It happened gradually, almost without my noticing. I starting filling up with food, then ideas. I ate and studied and studied and ate, until suddenly I was no longer a skeleton, but an adult with flesh and thoughts. But none of these completely filled me; I was still less than. The skeleton was inside me always wanting to get out.
People entered my life and left it, as regular as the sun rises and falls. Did I see myself in those people? Now that I think about it, yes I did and continue to. I meet people that are put-together with career and friends and family boxes checked off, just like me. I meet people who live in chaos without purpose or drive, just like me. I meet people who are passionate about something but struggle to make it a reality, just like me.
Mirrors are everywhere but what is their purpose? Do they serve as a simple reminder of ourselves, or do they serve to ignite change? Do they show us that we were more than we thought we were, or that we could be more? Maybe we should all replace less than with more than.