We’re born into this world already with just the blend of inherent traits, ancestral intelligence, and soul imperatives we need for this lifetime’s expedition.
Some of this encoding is time-released, and some is latent until it’s activated by certain forces at particular times along the way — kind of like Redwood and Jack Pine trees that require forest fire to release the seeds from their cones.
We’re not long on this Earth before the diminishing mirrors around us begin to do their work on our perceptions of who we are and who we’re not.
Slowly, or not, we’re shaped to be acceptable, to fit the expectations of the cultural norms and the people who stand as gatekeepers — for better, and for worse. Some call this process the colonization of mind, imagination, and soul.
Very often, we begin to wear an armor and a mask that, outwardly, conforms to acceptable notions of who it’s okay for us to be, while inwardly burying deep the essential but misfit parts of our being and our nature that have been dismissed, rejected, under-nourished, or even reviled.
As I look back over my own life, and become familiar with others’ stories, I think this departure from Self might well be part of the intended story-line, rather than something that ‘shouldn’t happen’.
From these seemingly off-road adventures, including what we’d likely call misadventures and ‘wrong turns’, we gain an impressive wealth of experience — every one of us — that shapes our perspectives, or can do, and becomes rich fertilizer to grow and ripen the gifts and the ‘medicine’ we bring into this world and this time.
As we go about these experience-gathering, perspective-maturing expeditions, the time-release seeds of essential nature rest within us, laying fallow, waiting quietly as we go about our lives wearing the armor and masks of Not Us, until …
Until it’s time.
“If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.” ~ Emile Zola
Life begins to place those fire-forest-like reminders and activators and mirrors along our way to stir memory and breathe life into these long-buried seeds of Self.
And then we’re nudged — or some of us are lifted, if as by a wild storm or tornado, or swallowed up by a chasm that opens in what seemed sure-foundation beneath us — from the known way and familiar life.
We’re deposited in a place we know not, as Dante wrote of (and may well hear David Byrne, Talking Heads, singing, “This is not my beautiful life! How did I get here?”).
Thus begins our journey along other spiral-paths that require a wholly different set of orienteering and navigation skills, because those we’ve been accustomed to using, those ways and things that were ‘successful’ before, are now frustratingly useless to us.
But as in the myth of Psyche — rich in hints of the early Mystery School initiation paths — we find our senses adapting and allies and evidence of Grace arising along the way to guide us, sometimes tentative step by tentative step (a rather marked difference from the whole “10 year strategic plan,” or, hilarious to us now, the “life plan.”).
Some of these Allies of Grace place along our way take the form of the rare and beautiful Believing Mirrors who reflect back to us the beauty, grace, and gifts of our own selves.
They affirm and invite the beautiful and true essential being that resides within us to express itself more truly and confidently from us.
What a gift, because the way is littered with Diminishing Mirrors who wittingly or unwittingly prefer to have us small and conformed (and thus perhaps more useful to them) than true and shining our light and bright gifts.
Believing Mirrors as Time-Release Activators
In this way, Believing Mirrors are among the gifts Life places on our path to activate the Self-seeds that have been waiting dormant with us and to help us to orient as we move through the landscape of transformation and initiation between Masked self and essential Self.
“Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will require not just small adjustments in your way of living and thinking, but a full-on metamorphosis.” ~ Martha Beck
Believing Mirrors are also often essential in reminding us of our gifts and capacities, however long we’ve been traveling post-awakening, when we’ve been gobsmacked by a potent wave of the Diminishing Mirror toxic reflection or what the ancients of many traditions called the Evil Eye (like the Eye of Sauron that Tolkien wrote of in Lord of the Rings).
Sometimes we will find ourselves with the opportunity to be the Believing Mirror for others as well — a beautiful example of the right-balance or reciprocity of Life-energy that in the Andean indigenous wisdom tradition is called Ayni (and it’s called other things in other traditions, but it’s a shared and essential awareness).
Believing Mirror or Diminishing Mirror.
It’s a choice, but we have to know the difference and be aware which is which, and which we’re choosing to be influenced by — or which we’re choosing to be for someone else.
But when we’ve received the gift of a Believing Mirror on our way, we know it, just as we know it when we’ve been or are a Believing Mirror for someone else.
All the difference in the world, that difference.
And here’s a final paradox for you:
Those who arrive on our path needing us to be Believing Mirrors for them are, in a way, unwitting Believing Mirrors for us, because the choice to be that invites out the essential beauty and deep, heartful Grace — the Big Love — of our own Selves as well.
Know what I mean?
Oh, the beauty of that graceful reciprocity or Ayni, yes?
A thousand thirteen thanks to the Believing Mirrors who’ve graced my life, and the same to those who’ve given me the chance to be that as well.
Big Love & Wishing you Believing Mirrors on your Way,
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