Whether through advertising, television shows or magazines, modern society encourages people to focus on the physical world. From the clothes I wear to the shape of my body, the car I drive and the people I spend time with, all of these choices are outside of the me that I’m really living. It’s not the music I listen to, but the experience of that music that stirs my soul, moves me to tears, or compels me to get off my ass and dance. It’s not the other person, so much as my experience of love for the other person that is my reality. It’s not the act of sex, it’s the experience of sex. Just as your reality of me happens inside of you and no matter how much I may want to understand it, I can’t because it isn’t for me. It’s for you.
If this sounds a little bit selfish, perhaps you’re underestimating your ability to experience life. You weren’t put on this earth to make everyone around you happy. You didn’t come here to be endlessly entertained by television. You didn’t choose to show up in this lifetime solely to have a career. You came here to creatively express the greatest version of yourself possible. You came here to be an expression of love–not what it means to your husband, your mother or your child–whatever that means to you. That’s the only reality there is.
I’m always thinking and I’m always feeling whether I like it or not. Both have been gifts in my life and both have gotten me into trouble. I’ve ruined everything and come back stronger than ever. I’ve taken risks most people I know would never dare to try, but I’ve also protected myself like a mother bear from being hurt by others when I needed to do so. I’ve been horribly ill and I’ve been healed. I’ve witnessed countless miracles and I’ve lived with lots of sorrow. I know I am deeply loved because I love deeply, yet sometimes I feel painfully alone. I believe in magic. These are all inner world experiences I would use to describe my life. My real life. None of this has anything to do with how much money I make, what I do for a living, where I live, or what I look like. But through these words, you will have your own experience and that experience may reveal something to you about yourself that you didn’t know before.
Which brings me to reflection. The other day, I was on an elevator and another woman got on a few floors later. As soon as she walked into the elevator she started analyzing every square inch of herself in the mirrored back wall. She completely turned around, examined herself, then adjusted her top, her pants, the way she was carrying her purse and the side of her hair. She was so preoccupied, she didn’t even acknowledge I was standing right next to her.
How often do you look at yourself in the mirror every day? How many times do you check yourself out in a storefront window, the metallic glare of the espresso machine, the tinted glass of your driver’s side door or the black screen of your computer before you turn it on in the morning? Whether you like it or not, reflection is the basis of our entire society. Isn’t it so interesting that so much nothing can seem so important?
When you look at everyone around you, what opinions are streaming through your head? Do you label the people you see as man, woman, child, terrible driver, asshole, ugly, stupid, fake, insincere, bitch, sexy, neurotic, funny, adorable, color blind, sincere, chatty, annoying, immature, quiet, mysterious, engaging or ridiculous. If so, remember this: every label you see is simply a reflection of a part of you that you may not have explored yet. What do you want to be today? You are everything and so much more.