The Witching Hour – 2:58 PM
Listening to “Chicago” – Sufjan Stevens
“Why, beautiful being, do you shun me? Surely my face is not one to repel you. The nymphs love me, and you yourself look not indifferent upon me. When I stretch forth my arms you do the same; and you smile upon me and answer my beckonings with the like. Stay, I entreat you! Let me at least gaze upon you, if I may not touch you.” – Narcissus to himself in Bulfinch’s Mythology
“The Emotional Mirror” is a term that I am using to describe a phenomenon I have seen in myself, and others, over and over again. It refers to the tendency for a set of current circumstances, with the same “emotional properties” as a previously experienced set of circumstances, to create a discord in the mind, feelings of loss, and longing that should not be associated with the circumstances currently being experienced for any logical reason.
If anyone has a term for this, please comment!!! This is just something I have noticed, and I’m sure I am not the first person to.
So, my original idea of this model came from doing a reading for a friend of mine at a bar…
When I was talking to my friend, we were discussing his current relationship. He told me that he was feeling wonderful about his current partner, and that everything was going great. He was very happy. But there of course, was a catch. This catch being that his current feelings of love for his partner, made him reflect and wonder why he couldn’t make it work out with his previous partner when he felt the same way about her as he did about his current partner. My friend expressed to me that he was feeling very guilty and ashamed about these feelings towards his ex. After all, why should he be having feelings for her, when things were going great with his current beau!? So, he asked me as a spiritual counselor, what I thought.
Without skipping a beat, I responded thusly from the mouths of my spirit guides…
I told him first that both feelings of love were completely OK. Some would disagree, but that Is what I think. I told him that his feelings for both people were, on an emotional level, like mirror images. In his emotional mind, both people are equal providers of a deep and true love. I told him that feeling the same type of love that he felt before put his mind in the same mode that it was in with his ex. When simply comparing emotions, both partners were equal in what they provided, so naturally, you would ask yourself “What happened?” and “Why did I let go of this when I had it before”.
We have to remember here, I told him, that there are other reasons for which you chose to leave that previous relationship. There were most likely other emotions at play as well. I told him that surely there were probably behaviors, mannerisms, and attitudes, that if he saw them in his environment, would remind him of that same ex. and would anger or frustrate him, and remind him of why he wanted to leave. Guess what!? He agreed.
What I pointed out, is that when we are on one wavelength emotionally..lets say an emotional high, or low, we compare other situations to how we are feeling. Those situations, whether past or present, are either going to increase our mood or make it worse. Depending on what we are wanting or allowing ourselves to feel, we will see situations that affect our mood in that way.
My friend, is a very happy go lucky guy with a BIG ‘OL heart. So on his high, I know he was naturally wanting to see the good in people. Being happy with his partner reminded him of the good times with his other one, and BAM!!! Here comes logic…trying to tell you they are not the same. But, when we are processing things emotionally, our most basic level of function, we don’t compare logic, just what we feel. And so here come the bad feelings, fueled by subconscious logical reasons, and sabotage those good happy feelings because we are confused in our emotional state, that everything that feels the same must be equal.
That is not the case. I call this emotional mirroring because the only real similarity is the emotions. In the mirror, we look into our own eyes, creating a reality that is in the mind, and in the perception of that moment. We may think that we are comparing the past to the present, BUT on an emotional level, the past will only mirror what we want to feel in the present. In order to understand the emotions of the past, we must instead put our mind in the complete past, and recall all the details to remember where the differences lie.
This is not something that our mind does without us asking it to. Remember, your mind is doing a lot, but also trying to work as efficiently as possible. So why would it try to recreate two whole sets of emotions for you to compare? That is just too much work.
If you think that I may be wrong, try a little experiment. Look at some old pictures of yourself, and write how you feel about them today. Then, in about two months, look at them, and write down how you feel about the same pictures then. I firmly believe that your answers will not be the same now as they will be in the future.
The mind wants to operate with what is current and resolve its current feelings. If you are feeling alone because of a breakup, or the loss of someone, what do you do? You reach out to that person and speak all your deepest feelings. You try to recreate the feeling of joy and security by repeating an action that used to bring it to you.
It is very important to understand this concept. Remember when you are really happy, you will think of things from a different perspective than if you are sad or angry.
Be aware of what is motivating your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and logic. Be careful of emotional mirroring. The thing about it is, it can make things very confusing. Remember, the past is in the past. Most of the time, we should leave it there, and be thinking of how we can grow from it, or learn to appreciate it with our new present eyes, or with the intention of future growth.
When you are staring in the emotional mirror, try to recreate the full picture. Instead of looking in a mirror to the past, make yourself see two full pictures. Compare those pictures, and I am sure you will see very clearly the differences.
What I told my friend, was that his feelings of love for his ex are still valid, real, and genuine feelings. They mirror his current situation and feelings, and therefore are brought to his attention. His mind is in the same mode, and is in turn, doing what it can to remember how to keep that feeling going. Part of that is reminiscing. It is okay to look back and feel love, anger, and sadness. But…don’t let it affect your wisdom in the present. Remember, true wisdom is using your logic and emotions together, to create a discerning and wise response to what you are thinking and feeling. Not playing one over the other. The emotional mirror is a natural and easy trap to get caught in. But if you are always looking in the mirror, you may be missing out on what is around you. You may as well be turned into a flower like Narcissus!!!