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Looking in the Mirror

Written from our farmhouse in Iowa April 17, 2020 - Day 34 of the Great Hunker Down

As the powers that be debate when to reopen society, we get the chance to think about how we want to re-enter the public square. This pandemic has given us the opportunity to reset some of the economic, political, and social practices we had fallen into, often without much thought. Hopefully, we have a better sense of the difference between virtual and physical presence and can explore how and when each is better suited to our purposes. Hopefully, our collective experience of trauma across borders and differences leads us into functioning more as global citizens while keeping a stewardly eye on our corner of the world. Hopefully, this time of slower pace for many of us has taught us how much we need to balance our drive for productivity with space for restoration. Soon, we will enter a period of re-creation as we re-engage with each other in the public square.

I would like to call us to a place of conscious co-creation where we name what wasn’t working and select practices we might try for reshaping our movement in the public arena. This can be a period known as The Great Reset. We can articulate our visions for how we want to be together. We can share our values to seek harmonious movement. We can clarify our missions so we understand each others’ purpose and place in the world. And we will do this using potions.

The first potion I will offer in The Great Reset is to help us find peace and alignment with the person we see in the mirror. Before we can enter the public square, we must be at peace with who we are. This is building upon the theme I presented in last week’s blog’s Finding My Rhythm & Flow of moving from the inside-out. That person staring back at us is our greatest companion and often our greatest enemy. The power I want to conjure is one that brings us into harmonious communion with this person who is the one we have to see and hear and smell and taste and feel more than anyone else. This is a being that we know far too much about and yet seem to understand so little. We need to find a way to make peace with ourselves, finding love within and spreading grace all over ourselves if we are ever going to do so with others.

How can we find harmony with others when we can’t even find it in ourselves? How can we show up for each other when we can’t even show up for our own fears and insecurities and troubles? How can we find a path forward together when our insides are in constant battle? How can we support and uplift each other when we tear ourselves down so bitterly? Our movement in the public square is wholly determined and limited by our experience when we are alone.

A few years ago, I confessed to a friend that I didn’t spend much time looking in the mirror. I never have a hairdo that requires more than a minute or two to do. Even when I brush my teeth, I would often step to the side of the mirror. He challenged me to stay at the mirror until the mist from the shower cleared. So, I did. I stuck around and spent more time in the mirror. And you know what I found? That I was saying the nastiest things to myself. Oh, it was horrible. “What a loser and fake person with an inch of depth who can’t seem to actually manifest anything in this world but sure knows how to mess things up while glamouring everyone else to think he’s so wonderful.” Ugh. I would never stand for someone speaking those words to anyone. Why am I allowing myself to speak them? And why am I standing for those words being hurled at me?

So, I set out to make a potion this morning. I recorded one of my puppets performing the poem. The potion I wrote is both story and poem - the potionmaking process I have found myself so often in lately. My prayer is that in the next two weeks before society begins to reopen, we all spend some time in the mirror. That we stick around long enough to see and hear ourselves so we know what we are carrying with us into the public square. Then, I hope we commit to building the relationship with that person in the mirror that reflects our vision for the world, mission for our lives, and values that we hold dear.

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