If you had just one chance to take a look through the Looking Glass
To see the truth for one brief instant would you take it?
Do you use it to look at the past or look at the future?
Would you look at yourself or look at the ones you love?
Would you share it with another or would you keep it a secret?
What if you were the Looking Glass?
What if everyone were just like you?
What if their lies were your lies?
Their loves your loves? What then?
Would you lay aside ignorance and prejudice?
Would you stand up and fight for what you believe in?
Would you pick it up or would you put it down?
The Looking Glass
“I wish I could be a fly on the wall in that conversation.” I’ve certainly said this a time or two in my life. But sometimes, we are lucky (or maybe unlucky) to have the moments where you see yourself through the metaphorical looking glass. Maybe it’s a moment of recognizing bliss or maybe standing on a moral high ground questioning or accusing What are you doing? And why? The latter is a more devastating sense of reality that the seemingly self-aware person is confronted with. I call this moments mirror images. I’ll catch myself criticizing someone’s behavior, and then I realize: I was just like them.
A dear friend of mine taught me that the recognition of these behaviors, these character flaws, may be God’s way of telling me something. And with that in mind, indeed, I have clarity.
And I can shamelessly (now) say: I have been a nightmare.
I dwell. Monumental and understandable pain would plague me, and instead of accepting and moving forward, I wallow in the misery and insist on company while I do it. So many things could have hurt so much less if I just let it go. If I had not insisted on making topic of conversation an endless circle of “Woe is me”
I put too much stake in appearances. How I looked to the social world, particularly in social media. I don’t know what I thought I needed to prove. That’s really all Facebook is anymore. A flaunting of early 20s behavior that shows the world that you indeed are happy. Humble brags and selfies and relationship statuses become the reality. If someone can’t search for it on the Internet, did it really happen? Of course it did and does, but I still stepped into the bear trap of always having something to prove to a fictional society and the only way to not engage was to lose the limb of connection to the world.
And then there’s the negativity. All it really takes is a facial expression. Eyes cast downward. A language of the body that illustrates weight. A heaviness that forces the entire room to bear, sucking the life out of everyone in the vicinity. I’ll say that sometimes we are suffering so deeply that we don’t know how else to tell anyone. However, I crossed the delicate line of victimizing myself too many times.
I have sought validation. Although we’re predisposed to a lot of behaviors in our upbringing (in which I didn’t receive the validation I needed) there is a breaking point where it becomes an obsession. If those I loved didn’t tell me what I needed to hear, it obviously was not so. Even though my personal intelligence knew these validations to be true, I still played the game, set the bait, engaged the trap, for the people I loved to walk into. Then it was real. Disguised by obligation, I told them what to say, selfishly receiving what I and I alone needed at the cost of repetitive circular conversation I was forcing others to engage me in.
I have not been tight lipped. I certainly understand what is meant to be secret and what doesn’t matter. But I have had too many missteps. The line has often been blurry, but that is no excuse. If the line is blurry, I should have slowed down until it was clear whether or not I should say what I’ve said. In poor defense, often times I have just sought companionship. Gossip pathetically bonds people. Some of the most intense (and often unhealthiest) female relationships are built on hating the same person, place, or thing. But what I’ve realized is that friendship with that as its base is cheap and unsteady. We do not have to like everyone, but we should always be kind. And a friendship with malice at its center can turn on you in an instant.
I have not been graceful. I stumble through conversation like a bull in a china cabinet. I become overzealous and hyper sensitive and yell. If I yell, then they will hear me. But this isn’t true. If I am sincere, they will hear me. If I am honest, they will hear me. They will hear me if they are good and want good for me. If I matter, they will listen. Shouting does not make what you have to say any more convicted than if you whisper. The importance is in the intention, not the delivery.
I think that’s the most significant lesson I’ve learned through my mirror. Intention. This post may seem strange. Something maybe more fit for the confessional (Don’t worry, I’ve taken it there too). But what I’m trying to do … well .. needing to do is place in metaphorical stone that I have made mistakes. And many of them have led me to where I am now — alone. I can not distribute blame for my life in its entirety. While some circumstances out of my control may have been the road that led me here, my behavior has been the car I’ve driven. And I am so sorry.
Moving forward, I can only remain true to my intention of being good. Getting into heaven. To be better. And maybe quit punishing myself in the process.