How many of us see ourselves clearly? Can we honestly look in the mirror and see with clarity what is being reflected back at us?
Krishna Das uses the analogy of looking into a dirty mirror. When we look into this mirror covered in dirt and thick grime we see mostly the filth that covers our reflection. This dirt keeps us from seeing our own reflection and we only get a faint glimmer of what lies beneath the grime. The ‘grime’ represents our pain, suffering, blame, shame, fears, insecurities and doubts and the heavy stories that hold them.
I do not know if I have ever looked in the mirror and seen my own beauty. And I am not talking only about physical beauty but also the inherent beauty that shines from within, beckoning me to focus my eyes on something besides the imperfect skin, the graying hair and yearly changes in my body that time and gravity decide to alter without my permission.
Even in my younger, firmer bodied years I still couldn’t see myself without the lenses of judgment and harsh critique. Strangely, it is time that is not only softening my once muscular frame but also my perspective. Each year I take efforts to clean that mirror, wiping away some of that suffering so I can begin to see what shines, and always has, underneath the stories I’ve created and chained myself to.
The more time I spend on my yoga mat and the more frequent I force my bottom onto my mediation cushion, the less time I spend inspecting my life and my body with bitterness and harshness.
This video was taken by a friend of mine almost a year ago. He spent his free afternoon playful and kind, and many generous hours later piecing it together with music only for me to discard it because I couldn’t see anything but my own imperfections. No amount of video or photography can ever capture what I feel inside when I practice or the shifts that occur subtly overtime with consistency of practice.
However, what this video can do is remind me of what has changed in a year—my own perspective. I still do not see what I feel when I practice when I watch this video. I don’t expect to. It’s too sweetly intimate to ever be shared fully with another anyways. But in sharing the video I share the knowing that time offers opportunities to see ourselves differently and I pray that I may, and you may, clean the mirror of our own hearts so thoroughly that we waste no more precious time seeing false reflections.