using others as your mirror..........

"everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves"
~ Carl Jung

i've read that thought (or very similar ones) in a number of self-help books. those around us are our mirrors.   basically whatever you find yourself picking on someone about (or nagging someone about) is what you are supposed to be changing in yourself.  while i can understand how it can be true - it is not one of my favorite ones to actually work on.  you see - that would force me to see the darker side of me...the meaner one...the one i am trying to work on changing.  and who wants to do that! well i do - and i do work on it - but in baby steps....not all at once.

what i didn't really think about (and what i like MUCH better) is that the opposite can be true too!  i recently read somewhere (and i'm sorry i cannot remember the source!) something i found quite interesting.  here is what you do.  pick 4 people you admire - they can be anyone you've met, never met, want to meet, have read about - whoever.  list the qualities and characteristics of that person you admire the most.  most likely most of those characteristics will overlap each other.  take a look at that list of characteristics.  those are the traits that you have not fully developed yet and what you aspire to be!  once you develop those traits - undoubtedly you'll find other people who inspire you and you do it again.

i like that second exercise much better. to me it sounds more positive - more like the goodness is inside me and i just have to identify it and accept it - and finally own it.  it reminds me of this recent post about inspiriational bloggers.  it's not as negative as the first one - where you have to confront the bad to get to the good.  while both are very worthwhile activities - i may just focus on the 2nd one for a bit.


  1. What a lovely exercise. The cup is also half full isn't it. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Lorena, I love this post. Really made me stop and think about myself AND a new acquaintance of mine that is really getting under my skin a bit. This really couldn't have come at a better time.