He said, "Your world is as you are." These words came as a
result of the question, "What is the meaning of life?" While many shy away from such questions and
even more so from providing an answer to such questions, my mentor was succinct
in his response. His words ring as true
today as the first time I encountered them.
That day was many, many moons ago, but it provided the
backdrop for the ensuing years of my inner unfoldment.
Often I reflect upon those words when I
encounter a particularly difficult person or situation and instead of looking
outward, I turn the mirror of my mind’s eye upon myself to look within for my
role in the situation. Admittedly, it is not always comfortable but in the end the
result outweighs any initial discomfort.
For those who peer into the proverbial mirror to understand
the how and why of any situation, knowledge of a truth echoed by many great teachers
and sages of the past becomes supremely evident: "In order to change a thing,
change how you think about a thing."
is in the process of self-examination that the reflection in the mirror learns one
of the most enduring of life lessons: we are the locus of control of that which
Accepting the reality of
the outward emanation of life is one of our greatest opportunities for growth,
both individually and collectively.
world is as we are.
The inward mirror exercise provides a way of knowing that all
things that are, be they social values or physical things, have their genesis within
Looking around and observing
the cause and effect nature of the physical world will illustrate this more
The mere fact that these lines
are being read is a testament to the profundity of a simple but overlooked fact
of life and living; the universe is mind and as parts of the larger whole we
too are mind and all things we bring forth originate within our mind.
We have only as much control as we think we
With this understanding as the foundation for life, when
faced with a particularly challenging moment, I resort to four questions which
serve as my life-line to resolution. They are: What is the situation before
How did it come to be before
What role have I played in its
What means do I have or
have access to in order to make it better for all concerned?
While these four questions seem simple, they
build upon one another in a way that is not unlike the process of planting and
Taking time to examine ourselves deeply provides for growth
on both an individual and collective level.
Coming to terms with the role played in life allows each of us to begin
living from the inside out.
In so doing,
we seek less to hold a mirror to others, and more to turn it on ourselves.
As we engage the process of
in a more direct manner, it is inevitable that our experiences will be more
fulfilling and contributive to a larger, more whole understanding of ourselves
as change agents; personal change which allows each of us to not only realize a
return on our mirror-gazing investment personally, but for the larger, social
circle within which we find ourselves.