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Reflecting on Reflecting

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Man in Mirror

The Daily Om speaks today about the reflections of self, referring to the way people mirror us. One of the things I like seeing reflected back to me is the goodness that I AM. I have always tended to see the good in others, the best of which people are capable and it has served me well.  At times I have been thought a “Pollyanna” or naive. Still, I am so grateful that this is how I am made.

Of course it’s more difficult to do when I see people act cruelly or viciously toward another. Not the “smaller infractions” of breaking a heart, or stealing from someone, I can generally get past those kind of offenses. I mean the ones that seem senseless and meaningless. Then I usually feel horrified that this or that act has taken place. Somewhere these ones fell off that track and I find it difficult to see anything but the act itself. But if it is true that people mirror myself to me, then I must see beyond the act they have committed and into the light that is hidden somewhere behind the deed. Because that reflection mirrors the worse of which I am capable on some level.

This is easier to say than to do. We humans tend to want to punish and not forgive that which is heinous. We want retribution for our losses. We want assurances that our fears are justified. Someone must pay for upsetting the equilibrium in our lives. We want to think we are civil and humane and morally beyond reproach. 

And mostly we are. Just trying to keep our heads above water these days with social and economic challenges calling for attention, we may not always have time to get it all right all of the time. But surely we are far away from those monsters who commit horrendous acts upon their fellow citizens. But if we really want to be truthful, we have to acknowledge that what we recognize in those lost ones, are the depths of depravity to which we are capable of sinking.

Maybe somewhere in all that is a little bit of forgiveness (not excusing) for the forgetfulness of who we are. Maybe there we can also forgive ourselves for the lesser deeds we do.

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