I share with you one of my favorite poems:
The Man in the Glass
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the World Makes you king for a day.
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself.
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your Father or Mother or Wife
Whose Judgement upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts more in your life
is the one staring back from the Glass.
You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
And you think you’re a wonderful guy.
But the main in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.
He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest.
For he’s with you clear up to the end.
And you’ve passed your most difficult test
If the main in the glass is your Friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And the pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
~ Ray Hunt
When I found a copy of this framed at my mom’s ranch house, my first thought was, ‘what a cool blend of east meets west.’ Cowboys garnering the same wisdom as yogis—that you must treat yourself as your best friend and be open to your inner self, the divine within.
There’s no place for ego when it comes to true happiness, so if we avoid or deny who we really are, our aims and our needs, what’s the point of all the rest? You can apply a temporary band-aid from outside sources, but they come and go and aren’t always to please. And as the poem says, you’re the only person who’s with you ’til the end.
On the subject of being our own best friends, I feel it’s only right to add a few affirmations from an all time favorite book of mine, The 7 Healing Chakras. Some days looking into the mirror is harder than others and we all deserve reminders of the thoughts and beliefs that we most need to hear:
‘My first responsibility is to myself, to treat myself with love and compassion.’
‘My life is filled with possibility, wonder, and delight. I only have to open my heart to receive.’
‘I am responsible for me, my health, my welfare, and my behavior, I accept this with gratitude.’
‘I value my body as the physical temple in which I live and I will aim to provide for its needs in terms of food, rest, stimulation, and general nurturing.’
‘I welcome opportunities to fulfill my highest potential.’
‘I am open to receive and accept love.’
Try looking yourself in the eye while saying these aloud!
So let’s shed our layers, get to know ourselves, look deeply into the mirror, and make amends with whoever we find. May we rock our inner compassionate yogis and embolden our strong, convicted cowboys.
May we come to admire the man in the glass.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Viva My Yoga