Hopefully by this stage of our journey the one thing that has been truly grasped and understood is how our self image is assembled. The myriad of verbal and non-verbal messages we have been in receipt of merge together forming a collage of impressions and experiences. These impressions and experiences are the raw materials from which our personality is then formed. This amazing collage includes many diverse and conflicting elements which account for the many inconsistencies and contradictions that can be found in the way we conduct ourselves as well as within the values, moods and attitudes we exhibit.
There are many contributors to the formation of our self esteem, but the one ingredient which has influenced and shaped us probably most of all particularly in the early stages are the “mirroring eyes” of our parents/guardians. The language of the eyes is so powerful and influential, especially when we are in the pre-verbal and pre-logical stage. During that time, we are very limited in our means of communication, and therefore the forms of contact that are available to us have a far greater influence, because they are the only instruments we have to interact with and interpret our world. The eyes are amongst the first of the “language bridges” that are built and connect us to the world “outside” ourselves.
Understanding the power and significance of the messages conveyed to us via the eyes is crucial, in order that we can do what is necessary to neutralise the pollutants of the past. Mirror work is the activity by which we are able to use the language of the eyes to assist us in the improvement and repair of the self. Once we understand what role the eyes of others have played in conveying various messages into our awareness and consciousness, we can use this understanding and our own eyes to re-shape that which exists inside us.
When we first stand in front of a mirror to engage in this activity, there is often a feeling of embarrassment, awkwardness and a sense of the ridiculous. This is a perfectly understandable set of reactions given our lack of relationship with ourselves and the newness of the task. Allow yourself to pass through these emotions, you will be helped in your endeavour by moving your vision away from the rest of your face and towards your own eyes. To the best of your ability keep your vision fixed on your eyes and allow yourself to drift deeper and deeper into your own gaze. As you do so, any thoughts that try to interfere, just gently put them to one side by replacing them with a thought along these lines:
“I really … really … love … myself … I love and believe in myself”. “
I am a very … very … beautiful human being”.
“I can be anything … I put my mind to”.
“I deserve … the very best that life has to offer”.
When using such thoughts, say them very slowly, emphasising each word, let it hang and linger as you say it, and if you can, say it aloud, as this also adds to the impact. Mirror work is a very powerful way of connecting with ourselves and our latent potential and abilities. Its true value is only experienced when it is practised regularly, a few minutes every day can and will make a difference. What has been described here is simply an outline to give a taste of what might be described by many as a bizarre and self indulgent pastime. However, this is a short-sighted view conceived out of ignorance and does not alter the lasting impact mirror work has on the conscious and sub-conscious mind, when it becomes a regular part of one’s life.