That is how we properly start this day and any other—focusing on the yet to be aspect.
The mirror shows many things: a hazy reflection of who is standing directly before it or depending on the angle of view, it could be a distant horizon as seen reflected from the nearby window.
But neither reflection is the real thing. They are simply stand-ins—assimilations of trueness. That is the problem with facing the morning mirror: when we look dreary-eyed into it, we believe the reflection seen before us to be our actual reality. When the 2-dimensional mirror surface becomes our stand-in for self-image, we are limiting our own potential for greatness.
Representatives of the real thing are imposters—merely static icons of objects, concepts and attitudes. When you see a representative image, you may see what it meant to you in the past, including comparing your present reflection to a more youthful remembrance of you; or you may even wince at the reflection, feeling still-lingering barbs of hurtful things others may have once said.
Or the face staring back at you in that cold, reflective surface, may be questioning your decisions from a distant yesterday, or perhaps displaying unhappiness over your less-than-stellar present.
Wavering self-images are always in flux and dependent on our moods and supportive associations. That’s why the morning mirror sees us as we tend to see ourselves at that time: looking our worst, slightly out of focus, and still searching for something that we aren’t quite achieving. We may even see our entire history playing out in every facial line of disappointment or uncertainty staring back at us.
But when you think about it, the mirror doesn’t represent your past at all, because you are no longer in the past. The mirror’s reflection simply shows this momentary appearance of you here and now, and then woops, …it is the next here and now, …and then the next.
Breathe in, ..breathe out, …and we are changed beings. We are not the same breathing vessel that once stored oxygen molecules in our expanding lungs, and then exchanged them for carbon dioxide waste molecules expelling from our nostrils and lips just a few seconds after that.
Every breath is a new one, and every moment that we breathe is a new moment of life—a new opportunity to see with new eyes, to hear with new ears, and to think with new thoughts.
As you are SO well aware, that YOU that you see in the mirror today, is not the same YOU that you saw yesterday. Nor is it the same YOU who looked in the mirror a week ago or a year ago, or longer.
Today, the mirror shows a representative snapshot of the YOU in this moment in time. But the snapshot is hardly the mechanism that took it, or the eyes that now view it.
The mirror image is NOT you. It is merely a visual representation of one momentary appearance, followed by another, and another, and another…
Why is this important?
Well, for instance, if you look in the mirror now and you like what you see, you might smile.
However, if you aren’t pleased with the view, you might not; and then just an arm’s length away, the face staring back at you begins to frown and what you actually see is your own disapproval with yourself—possibly full of self-condemnation and even self-loathing.
But, on the other hand, what happens if you can look into that mirror every morning hereafter, and by withholding those more critical, inner judgments, say, “Good morning, you gorgeous creature. I’m so glad to see that you are still here and ready to set the world on fire today!”
Then smile at yourself, because you know that whatever actually happens during this day, you will handle it to the very best of your ability—because that’s just how you operate. You always give your best! And that’s plenty good enough.
Perhaps you could also then lean in and whisper to yourself before leaving the mirror: “Yes, we are operating incognito for now, but under this carefully-camouflaged, external appearance meant to hide my True potential from the rest of a jealous world, is the real me—ready for action, aimed at achieving great feats of excellence, and firing on all cylinders to get those jobs done!”
Then slip into your Super-Man or Super-Woman underwear, and fold your freshly-washed cape into your briefcase, adjust your tie or skirt for maximum effect, and you’re ready to meet the day ahead.
With a little positive self-talk (and a few wardrobe props), you can nod with full acceptance at the mirrored reflection before you, knowing that whatever imperfection you once detected, only revealed the true depth of your character; and that still-visible wrinkle, blemish, or scar on your face represents a hard-won badge of honor for still being alive to fight (or love) another day.