Title: Polishing the Mirror
Author: Judith Pennington
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Polishing the Mirror
by Judith Pennington

Several years ago, during an interview with Bernie Siegel on
precognitive intuition and the role it plays in his life, this
distinguished doctor and bestselling author recounted a story
about a patient who criticized him for his anger. Siegel
responded, "I was angry because of what I had to do to you."

"But you took it out on me!" the man insisted.

Siegel, a loving and sensitive person, saw the truth in this and
changed his behavior. Years later, he read a line of poetry by
Rumi: Your criticism polishes my mirror. "When I heard that,"
Siegel exclaimed, "it was like 'Oh, thank you! Now I know why
they're all trying to make me better. It isn't that I'm a
terrible person. They're trying to help me!"

And so it is for each of us, as the people in our lives hold up
reflective mirrors enabling us to see who we really are. The
problem is, as Bernie Siegel pointed out, most of us don't take
kindly to criticism. The self-defensive ego, a hero in its own
mind, typically rejects criticism and stirs up negative emotions
that close our minds to truths which could be larger than our
own. At other times the ego, in disarray, absorbs undue or untrue
criticism that becomes a less-than-useful way of relating to
life.

What, then, is a body to do?

Science and spirit tell us that the body is to sit still and
relax when the mind is confused. The mind quiets itself and
consciousness listens for the still, small voice of the soul. We
draw from this deeper well of knowing to get clear on the truth
of a person or situation, because the only cure for ego’s
well-meaning grip on our perceptions is disarmament through
meditation, positive thinking and wholeness affirmations. These
create in us the calm, peaceful mind of transcendence, in which
we are attached to nothing of the ego and only to the mind of the
soul. It is this higher mind which sees clearly by staying open
and receptive to wise, loving guidance of every sort.

I've been listening to a wonderful discussion of how emotion
influences consciousness, on a CD set, "Destructive Emotions,"
by author Daniel Goleman. It's a detailed report on a Mind and
Life Institute gathering in which the Dalai Lama of Tibet met
with some of the world's foremost researchers on the effects of
and antidotes to our destructive emotions (a staggering 84,000 of
which have been catalogued by Buddhist philosophy). Scientists
are confirming that negative emotions like anger, fear and
depression alter physical structures in our brains so that we
are quite literally unable to know the difference between fact
and fiction: e.g., we get so mad and filled with aversion that
we "see red" or "can't see straight."

Conversely, love really is blind to the truth about our objects
of attraction and affection. Somewhere between the eyes and ears,
the brain dumps this undesirable information, I suspect because
the appreciative, energized heart, according to The HeartMath
Institute (heartmath.org), emits a vibration that is 60 times
stronger (within the body) than the power of our brain waves!

What a wonderful challenge and how critical it becomes for us to
master even our most subtle emotions and moods, in order for our
thinking mind and five senses to accurately perceive and
interpret information. Otherwise, we live in emotional delusion
and reality distortion. So we have a choice between truth or
fiction. If we choose to see truth we must accept that this is
not easy to do, yet work toward it by mastering our thoughts and
feelings in the hope of a consensus reality that will lead us and
our world to peace.

I am reminded of the Snow White fairytale, in which the wicked
queen demands, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall/Who's the fairest of
us all?"and a sepulchral voice intones, "Snow White." This
response so infuriates the queen's obsessive vanity that she
dresses as a ragged beggar to give a poison apple to Snow White.

What if, instead, the queen had searched in her mirror for the
perfect, radiant beauty of her soul? If, within the mind of her
soul, she'd heard the voice of an inner critic, she could have
allowed her higher self to remind her that we are all souls on a
journey, none better and none less than another.

I see us living happily ever after in this adventure called life.
Each step of our soul journey rids us of negative emotions like
self-blame, guilt and shame, the worst distorters of all, so that
eventually we love, honor and respect ourselves; attune to the
still, small voice of the soul; and shift to the perspective of
love. Through these eyes we see every person and event as a
teacher and readily discern what is true and what is not. We are
no longer pushed by pain, but pulled by vision.

When our mirrors grow cloudy, it is easy to polish them. We bring
into our minds our joyful memories of love, and love carries us
into Spirit's realm of transcendence. Ego and its hazy illusions
vanish because we now see in a new and better way. Through these
eyes, on a clear day, we can see into forever.


Copyright © 2005 Judith Pennington

About Judith: Judith Pennington is a writer and teacher of
consciousness development and the step-by-step path to
enlightened mastery. She is the author of a critically acclaimed
book, "The Voice of the Soul," and presents workshops across the
country. Visit her website, www.eaglelife.com, to check for an
event near you, sign up for her free e-newsletter and read
articles on how to attain peace, joy and prosperity.

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