Mirror Behavior: Actually, I Am Not Your Sacred Reflection
The mentality that we are all mirrors or sacred reflections of one another has served us in a healing yet profoundly limiting way. Mirror behavior has proven to be helpful in building rapport and securing trust. On the one hand, accepting that we are all reflections allows us to see ourselves from a new angle to make sense of our thoughts, emotions, and projections. However, on the flip side, it has the potential to keep us revolving around one another in constant feedback loops perpetuating painful cycles, thus confirming limiting behaviors. Moving beyond mirror behavior can be the gear that shifts someone from a low state of being to a solution-based mentality. This is especially true when holding space for someone or offering support during challenging moments.
Just as the glass mirror can present confirmations of beauty or disgust, mirroring behavior poses the same double-edged sword. However, with this understanding, it is possible to look beyond presented reflections and swim in the spaces of both grace and discomfort.
While it is pivotal to see ourselves in one another and the world around us, it is just as demanding that we take it beyond merely echoing beliefs and behaviors. If what we choose to see dictates our understanding of reality, adhering to mirror guidelines can keep us thwarted in how we might expand our inner landscapes.
How can we position ourselves to see beyond presented reflections and go deeper into what surfaces? Perhaps in doing so, not only do we enrich the capacity at which we integrate aspects of our identity, but we also allow ourselves to be neighboring guides in our collective healing.
I am not your mirror.
What does it really mean when we say we are all mirrors of one another?
In general, to mirror is to consciously or unconsciously adopt certain behaviors or gestures of another person. A prominent example of this points to the mirroring technique in acting where two individuals face one another. One person will make movements pretending to be looking in a mirror while the other mimics their partner’s motions.
It’s an approach that helps deepen the response to external stimuli by seeing yourself through someone else, and it is pretty powerful. This is just as true when applied to everyday life and situations like waiting in line at the coffee shop or driving through traffic. By taking the mirror mentality into daily tasks, we can begin to introspect on how we choose to interact with our reflections.
I am not your sacred reflection.
Origins of mirror behavior
Well-known Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung has contributed work surrounding mirrors concerning our unconscious and the shadow aspects of our psyche. His work mentions the shadow being irrational and prone to projection when unintegrated. In this sense, the fragmented parts of ourselves become the perceived moral shortcomings of someone else. This also nods to understanding how triggers can incite wounded reactions leading to unnecessary grief and conflict.
In the 1990s, neuroscientists discovered mirror neurons by studying macaque monkeys. These neurons are brain cells said to respond to stimuli when performed or observed. Research and studies are still in the making. However, scientists suggest empathy may result from mirror neurons firing and wiring.
I am a portal guiding you deep into heart-centered exploration.
What are the benefits/limitations of a mirroring mentality?
From an evolutionary perspective, mirroring has served as a means to bring members of a group closer, build trust, and keep one another safe. It can help foster powerful connections with others and create a more profound sense of belonging by reinforcing behaviors and agreements. But, again, we can do this both consciously or unconsciously.
The benefits of mirroring behaviors have kept us alive throughout the centuries and by no means. However, I’m bringing forth the possibilities that present themselves when we consider we might be more than a reflection. In some cases reflecting behaviors can grow into a defense mechanism that only perpetuates toxicity.
Becoming more than a reflection
If you’ve been following Flux Air, you might be familiar with my appreciation for portals and their unending gifts of change and transformation. The past couple of months have reignited how I relate to the opportunities portals grant us, and I’ve recently begun applying this to how I interact with the world around me.
As I deepen my studies on the subconscious and practice healing modalities to guide others in reprogramming their mind, I simultaneously see a window open before my eyes, leading to a perspective filled with profound possibility. Perhaps your experiences with mirroring have been positive, toxic, or a blend of both. Wherever you fall on this ladder, only so much can be accomplished when gazing from the surface.
At its best, mirroring offers a confirmation in moments of harmony, providing safety and a sense of belonging. At its worst, it perpetuates cycles of limiting behaviors and beliefs. I’m finding that somewhere in between lies a window where we may serve as more than a reflection, more than an echo—regardless of its positive or negative correlation.
From mirror to portal; reflection to transformation
For me, becoming more than a reflection means extending the space we see ourselves and the areas in which we identify. Stretching the domain between the two allows me to step into a portal where rapid change can occur. I like to think of it as the chrysalis that holds the individual in a safe and supportive way while encouraging growth and introspection.
As a guide and student of the subconscious mind, I have realized an unending amount of support jam-packed within each of us to fuel our desires. Sometimes all we need is to occupy that space where all possibilities reside and work through the discomfort that may arise. Stepping through this portal can feel intimidating to the identities we have sculpted to keep us feeling safe, and that isn’t a bad thing. On the contrary, it is so beautiful to know we have our own backs at all costs, and it is also an opportunity to remind ourselves that we don’t always have to put up a reflection.
Ultimately, mirroring behaviors is not a good or bad thing, and it isn’t something that needs to be dropped and abandoned. Instead, it is feasible to take on the mirroring aspects of an opportunity while implementing a transformative approach. To become more than a mirror, we must overcome our own emotional wounds and experiential traumas. As this creates space in our psyches, we can then hold space for others at quantified capacities.
Questions for deeper introspection:
- Am I putting up mirrors as a shield for protection or to deepen connections?
- How can I benefit from upgrading mirror behavior to serve as a portal? How might this help me with my energy management?
Captivated by change as the only constant, Michelle covers topics including consciousness, sustainability, art, and the imagination. Founder of Flux Air, a conscious website, she navigates through narratives that propel evolution.