Aside

Friendship and Holding the Mirror

“Stay together friends. Don’t scatter and sleep. Our friendship is made of being awake.” -Rumi

The more awake or aware we are, the more likely we are to act and live in alignment with our highest self, the part of each of us that remains true to our values and loves unconditionally. The beauty of  friendship is that we can help each other achieve awareness by holding the mirror of truth for the other to gaze into. This mirror is not the kind that hangs on the wall, but a metaphorical one, which we can create by reflecting back to our friends what we see, so that they can see it too. There are often blind spots in our own mind’s perspective; fear, insecurity and shame can cause us to avoid facing the truth or reality of a situation. Although it can be painful to see or hear the truth, it is the only way we can reach acceptance. And acceptance leads to more inner peace and calm. That’s why our friends’ perspectives can be so beneficial to our personal growth.

Holding the mirror for a friend can be a bonding exercise for both people; it builds trust and deepens the friendship. You will find solace in knowing that they will do the same for you when you are seeking clarity about a situation. Disclaimer: mirroring only works if your friend asks you for advice or input. If they don’t ask, only follow steps 1-4 below.

How to Hold the Mirror in Five Simple Steps

1. Listenpay attention, be patient, don’t interrupt 
2. Validaterepeat what you have heard back to your friend. You can start with “What I hear is…” or “I understand you feel…”
3. Ask Questionseither for clarification or to pose another perspective your friend may not have considered. (Repeat step 1).
4. Offer Positive Reinforcementtell your friend what they did right in the situation or acknowledge their bravery in trying to solve a problem. This not only builds trust, but also confidence and self love. All beings grow with love.
5. Share Your Perspectivenow that you have gathered the details and understand the emotions your friend is feeling AND they have asked for your input, share your honest perspective or thoughts on the situation. Is there another way to look at it? A solution your friend isn’t able to see? A possible positive outcome?

On Looking in the Mirror

If you are the person on the receiving end of the mirror (the one seeking input), keep in mind it is always up to you to decide what your truth is. If your friend’s perspective really doesn’t resonate with you, you can politely disagree or choose not to take it to heart. Ultimately, you decide what action to take and what to believe. By trusting yourself to decipher what feels right, you are able to stay open minded to seeing things from a new angle. Believe in yourself. You are much wiser and stronger than you realize!

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Homework

Try holding the mirror for one of your closest friends and take note of how it feels. Do you gain something from it as well? Write a paragraph about the experience and what you learned.

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