“How we think shows through in how we act. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind. They reflect thinking.” – David Joseph Schwartz
By Rachel Folkman, LCSW
One of the beautiful aspects of being human is the concept of shared experience. Both biologically and culturally, the majority of us are brought to an array of similar emotions and feelings throughout our lives. Though our individualized programming creates a singular and distinctive map for each of us, we connect through these shared emotions and experiences to come together in a place of understanding.
Here at Pacia Life, we employ both individually and culturally the Tatori Method on a daily basis. A large piece of the Tatori Method is what we have termed the “Mirror” stage. This morning as I was pondering on various meanings of this stage, I was continually brought back to a piece of mirroring, which affects each of us in our lives.
In our brain’s dire need to consistently make sense of everything in this wildlife, we perceive our current experiences and surroundings based on our previous programming and experiences. Each of our personal programmings leads to thoughts, which lead to feelings, then actions, and eventually: results.
Each of our personal programmings leads to thoughts, which lead to feelings, then actions, and eventually: results.
Think back to a time when you were overwhelmed with distrust of or frustration with someone. How was this resolved? Were you able to effectively work through the situation? What was it that finally enabled clarity and trust to ensue? Typically, when we experience distrust or frustration with someone, we are also experiencing fear. Oftentimes, this fear stems from within ourselves. Let’s talk about a couple named Kyle and Kate.
Kate and Kyle were in a committed, romantic partnership. Slowly, over time, Kyle began feeling distrustful of Kate. Everything she did seemed suspicious to him. He became convinced she was hiding a large secret from him and he was determined to figure out what it was. Kyle allowed the distrust to fester and slowly he and Kate grew further apart.
Throughout the duration of their relationship, Kyle had been spending time with a group of friends who he had agreed to Kate that he would not see. Kyle thought this was harmless enough, and it seemed to be working well for him. Why would Kate need to be in the loop?
As we read the beginning of this story, what comes to mind as a key factor in successful relationships that Kyle was missing here? Communication. Instead of communicating to Kate that he didn’t agree with not spending time with those friends, he chose to lie and continue seeing them, thus avoiding conversation.
One day, Kyle decided to utilize communication. He simply ‘knew’ that she was hiding something from him, and decided to confront her.
In the conversation that followed, Kate explained to Kyle that she had nothing to hide, that she felt he had been pulling away and she pulled away in turn. The coldness Kyle had experienced from Kate was a direct reflection of the wall he had built around himself.
What was another key factor Kyle was missing here? Looking within himself. Looking into his mirror. Once Kyle decided to face his fear, utilize communication, and ask Kate if she was hiding anything, she in return asked him. From this conversation, the full truth about his weekly meetings with his friends came out. Kyle saw that the months of a growing wedge between he and Kate based on his distrust of her were, in fact, based on his distrust of himself. Kyle finally chose to look into his mirror and acknowledge the reflection staring back at him.
As we look within our own selves and into our own mirrors, how often are our frustrations with someone, fears, doubts or suspicious really founded within our own psyche? If I may speak from my own experience of self, and in all relationships both personal and professional, it is quite often.
In our communications this week and continuing forward, may we think back on the story of Kyle and Kate. When we notice distrust, fear, or frustration with someone, let’s remember to first look within ourselves. To look into the eyes of our mirrored reflection. To notice what is happening personally, and if there is anything in our lives incongruent with trust and love. We can then make the conscious choice to communicate, and more effectively express what we truly need and desire from our relationships.
“How we think shows through in how we act. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind. They reflect thinking.”
– David Joseph Schwartz