Seeing Beyond the Mirror
I did mirror work affirmations for fifteen minutes today, which is the longest I ever have done the exercise. For those of you who aren’t familiar with mirror work, it consists of standing in front of the mirror, saying positive things about yourself, listening to what your mind says about what it sees, which can often be negative and then healing that negativity. The goal of mirror work is to replace any negative thinking with positive affirmations that will help you love yourself more deeply.
I followed the instructions saying “I accept you” and “I love you” and then adding my name as instructed “I love you Kaden” which can feel strange at first, but I committed to it and used a guided video this time for fifteen minutes. I’ll put a link to a video you can use at the end of this post. I reached a part in the exercise where I was supposed to allow my mind to say whatever came up good or bad and I said: “I hate my skin.” It’s something I have said to myself since I was in my early teens because of acne issues. This time as I said it, I instantly felt a pain in the center of my chest near the top of my sternum and dropped my head down from the mirror. It hurt physically; it happened instantaneously as I said, “I hate my skin.” It was so shocking to me because I had been feeling great all morning, but when I voiced out the thought I have had since I was a teen, I felt immediate physical pain.
I wondered what it meant, how this could be? Was it a fluke coincidence? No… I realized my mind couldn’t rationally understand it, but my spirit got the message clearly. I had come face to face with real pain, internal, unseen pain that had become physical. The things we tell ourselves are just as real as physical things, they just take longer to materialize. Even thoughts in the brain can be measured with scientific instruments. It could be torture if it was always instantaneous and you had some self-destructive thoughts wreaking havoc in your brain, like most of us.
The negative things we tell ourselves start off as a little punch which bruises us, then another and another, every time we say the same terrible things to ourselves. Over time, we get so beat up that we have an open wound that we don’t even realize because it isn’t seen with the eyes. We leak out our precious energy from this self-inflicted wound, often without even knowing it. It becomes infected with a growing negativity that, in time, can affect every part of our lives. For instance, instead of greeting people with love we might be too worried that they will notice all the things we perceive to be wrong with ourselves. Sometimes people will withdraw from life because they feel so bad about themselves, I did this for years. It is a huge discovery when you see and understand that thoughts become real because then you come to understand can choose good ones. You have so much more power than you can imagine! This means that the same power that can cause us so much pain can also be used to create what you want in your life.
Believing in any unseen power can be tough at first but many things have tremendous power and influence in our lives that we can’t see, like Wifi, radio waves, gravity and if you’re in tune you might add intuition to the list. I like to think of intuition as in-tune-ition. My in-tune-ition told me that the pain I had at the moment I said “I hate my skin” wasn’t a coincidence. It was something I needed to heal or it would keep coming up in my life, just like it has for years.
I hope we all will live long, full lives where we learn how to face our changing faces and bodies. Sometimes they may change in a way we desire, when we work out and eat well which will feel nice but we will also be forced to embrace things we might not want. We will get graying hair, lines, and wrinkles if we haven’t already. Things will change and it would be better for us to be kind to ourselves. If we fight our aging, it will be agony. We must let go and instead of swimming against the current, enjoy the flow; we can, in fact, love it.
Having lived in LA for many years, I find it necessary to drive this point home– there is no magical pill, drink, or surgery that will make you feel perfect in an ever-changing and aging shell. The only thing that will get you there is seeing the beautiful, loving soul that is here, right inside you. This will take time; it is a matter of changing your perspective, but you can learn to love all of yourself unconditionally. Just thinking about it makes me well up with tears of hope for all the people I know who struggle with this alongside me. We can do this. Day by day.
While I was still in front of the mirror and in the grips of feeling the pain, I was instructed to heal any negative beliefs or judgments through breathing in and out, the tension slowly subsided. The one negative thought about my skin was all I got out of my mind before feeling that sharp pain and dropping my head. I worked on healing that today during my mirror work. Something that you’ve told yourself for years will be a tougher challenge than a new thing that arises. You might have one thing you say over and over to yourself that you might work on today too. The negative thoughts won’t go away until you confront them, like the bully they are. This technique allows you to do just that and it can be very hard work but it’s worth it. Mirror work and the techniques pioneered by Louise Hay have helped many people and can help us if we allow them to. I will continue doing mirror work affirmations and encourage you to try for yourself as well.
I don’t know about you but I have some healing to do. My skin isn’t the real problem here, just like someone’s extra pounds, their height, their wrinkles or anything else the mind tells us is wrong with us– the real problem is our perception. We need to heal or that self-judgement or we will continue to hurt. I’m thankful for that warning pain in my chest because it opened my eyes to see how my self-judgement was harming myself on many levels. I wish I could say I’ve mastered this lesson, but I have just started. I see this lesson for what it is now. My mind was good at making excuses for the way I beat myself up. My mind would tell me, “it isn’t hurting anyone out there” and I thought it wasn’t bad to do; but that’s a lie, it is hurting you and that energy goes with you into the world as insecurity aka fear and that fear is felt.
There were years where I avoided mirrors, never being satisfied with what reflected back. I was never this judgmental of others and I bet you judge yourself harsher than others too. I know that if I treated a friend or relative the way I treat myself they wouldn’t be in my life or would put a LOT of distance. So why are we so nice to others but so cruel to ourselves? I believe this is because the mind knows it can bully you and you have nowhere to run; you can’t run and you shouldn’t. Instead, you should stand up look in that mirror and pick a good thought. You have the power to change your thoughts, heal yourself, and train your mind to see the beauty within you. We are all worth loving, right now, right here, just as we are. When we learn to nurture and love ourselves as the limitless, formless self within then no matter what happens on the outside we will know that we are deeper than our skin, we are eternal beings of light.
I know that if you’re ready to look deep into your own eyes to see the soul within, the outer negative things you see and feel will blur into obscurity. You will undoubtedly feel your inner presence that is rich with wisdom and unconditional love. I got a glimpse of that peaceful love toward the end of my first truly committed mirror work session today, and it made me well up wth tears because I saw the real me, the me I share with those closest to me but not with myself. It’s time to love yourself without conditions, the real meaning of unconditionally.
Below is a link to a YouTube video you can watch on mirror work affirmations. Side note, I resisted doing this work for a long time, I would say a couple of nice things to myself in the mirror and feel a little foolish. I would stop, but I did feel something unexplainable a couple of times trying. I never did this work for more than a minute or two because my mind would convince me to stop, try to resist this urge and follow through. This concept kept popping up in my life, and after doing Louise Hay’s guided morning and evening meditations for several months, I felt ready to try again. If you’re worried you’ll look foolish, know that it’s only looking foolish to yourself because you do this work alone.
If this is your first time hearing about mirror work, I’m glad to be here to help plant the seed within you and join you in doing it. I will write a future post on this after doing it more consistently and share my progress with you, and I hope you will do the same. To learn more, please check out videos or books by Louise Hay who came up with the techniques I used today. She’s a beautiful soul that has changed my life in so many miraculous ways. I love her; I love you and I want you, to love you too.