As human beings, we seem to have developed a tendency to look outside of ourselves for the solutions to our problems. This may have stemmed from, when we were children, our dependency on others since our needs were always taken care of and we were provided with food, shelter, and decisions were always made "for us". Consequently, we did not learn to do things for ourselves at an early age. In addition, we grew up in a society that saw children as incapable and unaware... instead of seeing them as reborn masters, or as souls that are simply continuing their evolution.
When we encounter a challenge or difficulty in our life, we tend to run to someone else for the solution. As a child, we ran to Mother... as an adolescent, we ran to our best friend... as an adult we run to our friends, our mate, or to a counselor. While it may not be good to develop this kind of dependency on others, these people can help us since they provide a mirror in which we can see ourselves. They reflect back to us our words, our thoughts, and our feelings.
Have you noticed that at times, simply talking about your "problem" seems to shed light upon it? You discover that the answer was always there -- it simply hadn't yet come to light. We know what it is that we need to do... and we oftentimes are simply reluctant or hesitant to recognize it and do it.
Have you noticed that when we ask someone for advice and receive it, our thought is 'I knew they would say that'. Of course we knew it, because all the answers we need are within our own self, within our own intuitive understanding of ourselves and what is "right" for us. So we already knew the answer... we simply needed confirmation to give us the extra confidence to go forward.
If you're having trouble hearing your own answers or inner guidance, start listening to the advice you give others. All the great advice you have for your friends, and even the unspoken suggestions or criticisms you have for others around you, are really for you. I find myself telling people to be good to themselves, to take time to smell the roses... all things I am learning to do.
Everything we see in everyone else is simply a reflection of issues or qualities we are exploring in ourselves. Consequently, we can heed the advice we give to others, because they are simply letting us see ourselves. When we say that everyone is our reflection, what that really means is both a "positive" mirror and a "reverse" or "crazy" mirror. Sometimes we learn because someone is doing the exact opposite of us, and we see something inspiring in that action... either inspiring us to follow the same path, or motivating us to stay away.
In other words... my grandfather was an alcoholic. My father had a choice... mirror his father and become an alcoholic, or see that he didn't care for that reflection, and choose not to drink. (Luckily for me, he chose the latter.) The mirror simply shows us an image... then we decide what to do with the information it provides. In a physical sense, if you look in the mirror and see that your hair is all disheveled, you can say "so what" or you can take the time and effort to comb it and "get your act together". The mirror simply shows you something... you get to decide what to do about it.
You can also look in the mirror of other people's faces and lives. My mother was a "devoted workaholic"... she was a school teacher who always took work home with her, and she had numerous obligations to a church group as well as a community organization. My choice, as I see my self reflected in her, is what path do I choose...workaholism or balance? When I look at my grandfather... though I may reject his image as my reflection, perhaps if I ask myself "why was he an alcoholic?", I may find some mirror image there as well... Was it a lack of confidence in his ability to succeed, or perhaps some disappointment in that he didn't quite live up to his own expectations? I do not know for sure what his reasons were, but my reflecting on it brings me some insights on myself.
Some of the mirror images are not ones we really like to acknowledge... yet they are there for a purpose. The lady in front of you in line at the cash register who is being rude and obnoxious is reminding you that you have a choice. Perhaps you have tendencies to be rude? or perhaps your tendency is to judge others who are? Whatever it is, there is a message you can glean from her presence to help you along your path of healing and balance.
We can use every situation in our lives, and every person with whom we interact, to ask ourselves the following (especially when the situation or person "pushes our buttons"): "What is the message here? What advice would I give that person? How does that advice apply to me?" You may be amazed at what you'll discover.
Your best counselor is indeed yourself. You have all the answers and all the solutions. You simply need to start asking... and listening to yourself. Then miracles will take place. You'll find that you can be, and know how to be, happy, healthy, and free.
Just Who Will You Be?: Big Question. Little Book. Answer Within
by Maria Shriver.
Just Who Will You Be reminds us that the answer to many of life's question lie within -- and that we're all works in progress. That means it's never too late to become the person you want to be. Now the question for you is this: Just who will you be
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com