The man in the mirror is often used to illustrate a point that we only need to look inside ourselves to find the change we want.
In reality, the people we interact with are pieces of broken mirrors, reflecting bits and pieces of ourselves. It reminds us of the flaws and goodness within, yet never having the full picture.
On rare occasions someone walks by with a big piece of glass that reflects a whole face, or even a torso and for once one could see how the small pieces of glass fit into our web of existence.
Yesterday I met such a person, whom life's regrets, rants and experience showed me this big piece of my own reflection. Strangely, he didn't have the same experience, he didn't lose his mother, but the sentiment of having survived despite of adversity makes one grow up very quickly. It's also the sense of survivorship, and despite it all we are still hopeful. It also reflected a long struggle of mine - the self pity and swinging between inferior and superior complexity. I have no sympathies, and being more cerebral than others, I often intellectualise a problem. Yesterday in that conversation, I am starting to catch a glimpse of this person....and I understand now why people say I don't listen enough.
It is perhaps not a coincidence that the day I received news of having won an academic medal, I also received a strange call from someone who would also show me the sum of the parts.
Perhaps it's also a reminder that I'm ready to see and be honest with what I see within me. Hubris often prevents us from taking our rose tinted glasses off and admit the ground below is thin ice.
It is also not a complete coincidence that the past week, people have been opening up to me, and how I've been telling them what my counsellor told me a long time ago - it takes great courage to admit you were wrong, you were young, and you made mistakes. Reflection is circular and as much as we listen, sometimes listening to others, we become healed in return.
The pieces of the broken glass now fits and I see my faces within each shard that people in my life have given me. It is not a complete mirror, complete with ornate frames. We are broken and some parts of us cannot mend.
We are also larger than the sum of our parts.
There is no person in the mirror, there are many selves in pieces, some of them we haven't even discovered yet.