By Tania Kotsos
UPDATED: NOV 2020
Everyone is your mirror. This is the greatest of all relationships secrets and the only one you really need to understand to transform all your relationships. Here it is again: every single person in your life is your mirror. What this means is that others are always reflecting parts of your own consciousness back to you, giving you an opportunity to really see yourself, to grow and to change your beliefs about who you are and about other people. And when you do your relationships will also positively change. The qualities you most admire in others are part of your consciousness and the same goes for the qualities you dislike. This then means that to change anything in your relationships, you must be the change you want to see.
You can learn to recognise yourself in other people by realising that everything and everyone is your mirror. It is only when you understand what it truly means to see yourself reflected back at you, that there is no room for blame, there is no room for judgement and there is no room to feel like a victim of another person's actions or words. There is only room for real love based on understanding and gratitude. Compromise comes easy, forgiveness is a given and growth is inevitable. While this truth applies to all of your relationships, from your family, to your friends and colleagues, and even to those you deem your 'enemy', it is your relationship with your significant other that enables you to take the closest, most accurate look at who you are.
It is certainly no secret that the majority of your intimate relationships tend to be similar if not identical in their result. Surely you have noticed how the overall experience and outcome of each of your relationships seem to remain the same no matter how many times the face changes. If you struggle in your personal relationships then the repetition of the same challenges, the same frustrations and the same insecurities leave you despondent and even reluctant to try again. Understanding that everyone is your mirror is the most powerful and fastest route to positively changing your relationships, and it all starts with your beliefs about relationships.
Your past experiences of relationships have created your core beliefs, whether you are aware of them or not, about what it means to be in a relationship and about other people. Your first relationship experiences include what you heard as a child, the music you listened to, the books you read, the relationships you saw between other people and countless other sources. The more all these moved you emotionally, the deeper a belief was ingrained about what you perceived at the time. In this way, some people adopted positive beliefs about relationships—that relationships are a positive joyful experience; while others adopted the opposite—that relationships are a symphony of heartbreak. Depending on the nature of your beliefs, you experience either joy or despair in your relationship because everyone is your mirror.
If your relationship experiences have been difficult to date you have probably surrendered yourself to the negative belief that relationships are difficult or that you are useless in relationships or some variation thereof. And so you believe that the only relationship secret out there is luck, timing or Divine Will. These beliefs become part of your belief system and by declaring them true even if they are not objective facts, you continue to attract the same relationships. And once more you can't help but wonder why what started off with such hope, has again ended with no hope at all, never quite realising that your relationships are reflecting those very beliefs back to you, all in sync with the qualities of your inner world. You may have never realised that you are the common denominator. Since everyone is your mirror, it can be no other way.
In all your relationships there has always only been one common denominator—YOU. Whoever the person is you have next to you, no matter how many times you change him or her, the fundamentals of your relationship will remain unchanged (albeit to varying degrees) because they are simply mirroring you. It can be no other way. This realisation may frustrate you at first and you may even reject the truth that everyone is your mirror. However, you will quickly come to see it as good news because it means that you too can enjoy a loving relationship that previously seemed out of reach. To do so, the only person you need to change is yourself. Be the change you want to experience in your relationships—change, not on the outside but on the inside.
The mental giant of the New Thought authors, Neville Goddard referred to this truth that everyone is your mirror by saying that "all the people in the world are only yourself pushed out". This means that everyone and everything in your experience of reality, which is the only reality you can personally experience, is a projection of your consciousness. Your relationships are mirroring who you are, or more accurately who you believe you are, by way of what you assume, what you feel, what you imagine and what you think is true. You create your reality and since your relationships are part of your reality, it is you that creates your relationships.
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Your relationships with others, therefore, are an opportunity for you to experience yourself—your consciousness. They are a perfect mirror of your inner relationship with yourself and the beliefs you have assumed to be true about life, love, relationships and other people. Everything you admire in another person is a reflection of some aspect of your inner world and the same goes for what you dislike. To be able to perceive a certain quality in another person, that quality must be part of your consciousness. You could not see it otherwise. The bottom-line cause of 'failed' relationships is when one or both partners can no longer stand to see themselves in the other person, not realising that they are staring at themselves in the 'mirror'. And instead of learning the lesson, they change the 'teacher'.
Since everyone is your mirror, your beliefs about relationships, men, women, love and life are all there for you to see in your relationships. You passively adopted all your beliefs from a very young age, where passively means without your conscious input or reasoning judgement. You may not even be consciously aware of many of your beliefs because of their subconscious nature.
Nevertheless, the core beliefs of your personal belief system is the internal map you subconsciously use to navigate your life with, causing you to think, feel and act in certain habitual ways that either support a more joyful experience of life or deny it. And in this case, a more joyful experience of relationships or the opposite. Since what you experience is a projection of your beliefs, it is your core beliefs that are creating your relationships, even if you think the causality is the other way around. Your experiences are confirming your beliefs, not causing them, and this creates something of a virtuous or vicious cycle depending on whether your beliefs support a healthy relationship or not.
Let's take a look at this causality between everyone is your mirror and your relationship experiences in practice. If your first romantic partner was unfaithful, you may have adopted the belief that men or women are not to be trusted no matter how trustworthy you are. Or if you yourself have been willing to be the 'other woman' or 'other man' in the past, then you may believe that the same can happen to you. Either way you are likely to have a negative belief about trust in relationships or about the trustworthiness of a romantic partner. Given your belief, even if your partner is being 100% faithful to you, you will find yourself looking for reasons to prove otherwise or at least living in the fear that his/her faithfulness will falter.
If, for instance, your partner does not call you back as soon as you're accustomed to, instead of assuming 'he/she must be busy' and getting on with your day, alarm bells are likely to go off in your head, blaring something along the lines of 'he/she is ignoring me, and since they're ignoring me they must like someone else'. And so the 'fun' begins. You start looking for evidence to prove your belief that they are being unfaithful and even if you never factually prove it, you can never quite enjoy a relationship that is fundamentally lacking in trust. Either way, the advice 'be careful what you wish for, it may come true' holds equally true for 'be careful what you look for, you may find it'.
The concept that everyone is your mirror is essentially telling you that the qualities you see in your partner, whether you admire them or not, are your mirror—they are showing you something about yourself. The more you dislike a certain quality, the more it is showing you a part of your consciousness that you are not acknowledging in one of three ways.
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Interestingly, when applying this knowledge that everyone is your mirror, you may find that even some positive qualities annoy you. For example, if your partner's kind and giving nature frustrates you, it may be showing you that you'd also like to be a more kind and giving person but are resisting being one, either because you believe that those qualities are weak or you have been told you are not. For similar reasons, your partners' ability to forgive may make you uneasy, as may their willingness to discuss their own weaknesses without losing pride. In these examples, instead of becoming frustrated, see it as an opportunity to learn forgiveness and to learn that being honest about your own weaknesses is your opportunity to change them.
You may have heard that opposites attract and indeed this often appears to be the case but appearances are not always what they seem. So how can everyone be your mirror if opposites attract? The answer lies in the Universal Law of Polarity that states that 'Everything is dual. Everything has poles. Everything has its pair of opposites. And that opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree'. This means qualities that appear to be opposites are in fact two extremes of the same quality. Hot and cold may appear to be opposites but are varying degrees of what we call temperature. The same applies to all human qualities and emotions.
You may find a quality you see in your partner appears to be the opposite of your own but in fact it is the same quality expressed in a different way. This is usually the case when a certain quality is expressed extremely. Nevertheless, it is still your mirror. Another mental giant of the New Thought authors, William Walker Atkinson, told us that the extreme opposites do not attract, they meet. To visually understand this imagine a horizontal line with the extreme opposites on either side. Now, imagine that line becoming a circle and you will find that the two extremes meet to close the circle.
The introvert 'attracts' the extrovert, the weak 'attracts' the strong, the giving 'attracts' the taking. These partners 'meet as extreme opposites' as an opportunity to learn from each other and bring their own extreme quality into balance. Since everyone is your miorror, in order to 'attract' your opposite in a certain quality, you have to be at the equal but opposite end of the relative spectrum and so are unbalanced as far as that quality is concerned. Simply put, opposites meet (or attract as we've learnt to say) in search of balance. When none of your qualities are at either extreme, you can no longer meet its opposite in a partner.
The concept that everyone is your mirror—that everyone is you pushed out—is aimed at healing and transforming your relationships. Emotionally and physically abusive relationships are no exception because at the root of an abusive relationship you usually find a severe lack of self-worth in the abused partner that is re-iterated by their refusal to leave the abuser. And even if their self-worth was higher at the start of the relationship, its erosion goes hand-in-hand with the abuse.
The healthiest way to leave an abusive relationship and to prevent repeating the abuse in the future, is to change your beliefs about relationships and ultimately through the power of self-love—learn to love yourself! Even so, if you find yourself in such a relationship, I urge to seek assistance (personal and professional) to support you in leaving.
The most rewarding relationship you can ever have is the one with yourself. To love yourself is indeed the greatest love of all. And when you truly love yourself, you'll find all your relationships transforming to reflect the love you have for yourself. Only when you love yourself, are you free to love others, and by free I mean free of insecurity, free of attachment, free of fear. Your relationships will not change, if you yourself do not change. When you positively change what you believe, what you think, what you feel and what you imagine for yourself, you will find that your relationships change to reflect that change! There is no greater shift that you can achieve in your relationships than to realise that everyone is your mirror. And when you do, you will know there is no one to change but you.
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