“I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all. “
Both Sides Now -Joni Mitchell
Recently I was fortunate to visit with friends at their condo in Southeast Florida. It was a working holiday for my hosts, which was fine because it meant that it gave me time alone as I needed, to write and reflect as the mood took me. On one such morning I set myself up in the kitchen nook, window before me with a view of lush green trees and shrubs, blue of the water and the whitecaps of the breaking waves.
Looking out the window, my gaze moving from right to left, I am struck by how far I can see. Then, I realize it is an illusion. The wall beside me is a mirror.
I wonder, how much of what we think we see is simply a reflection of what we have seen already? Perhaps a vision of ourselves, of others, the world at large? Are we fooled into thinking we are seeing something new, and yet have not tested the boundaries? Is it really new, or more of the same?
What keeps us from asking? Maybe it is the uncertainty of the answer.
Reflective thinking can take us into the murky waters of questions and unknown answers. Move us beyond the mirrors we have set up.
Be ready for fear to jump in and try to keep the mirror intact. Its whisper is insistent – better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. Fear is rooted in the distaste of uncertainty. All is well here, why look beyond?
Fear is the illusion of control. It will take us down the path of what if, with the goal to keep us as is.
Mirrors serve a purpose, as a means of reflecting back what is. Our choice is to decide if we want to explore what else. It could be more of the same, or it could be so much more.