What does the image of "reflection" conjure up? For many, the thought of being alone and reflective upon one's actions come to mind. Maybe while sipping a cup of hot tea/coffee and staring out into a beautiful, relaxing scenery perhaps?
However, being the social beings we typically are, being reflective is not just merely looking into a mirror and questioning who we are as an individual. We do not know, what we don't know. And sometimes, no amount of looking inward by ourselves will/can change that. Once in awhile, it helps to enlist the help of those close to us, or the help of a professional. Those who want to see us grow, learn, be happy, and become the best version of ourselves. Over time, I have come to understand that "reflection" is more of a process of looking within combined with integrating the perceptions that others have of us. Now, please be clear that I am not suggesting we base our views of ourselves solely through the eyes of others. I am saying that in order to obtain a full picture of who we are, it may be necessary to take into account how those around us, view us. At times, they may be able to hold up a mirror that allows us to see ourselves in a different angle, providing a more complete reflection of us, to ourselves.
While others form incorrect perceptions of us frequently, it does not hurt to listen with an open mind. At the very least, we'll walk away knowing how we've been misunderstood, and now have an opportunity to share who we truly are with that individual. And who knows? We just might be able to learn more about ourselves while having a dialogue with another human being! Shocking, I know.
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” –Margaret J. Wheatley
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Michelle Chan, M.A., LMFT