Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Mirrors Of Our Life

Another repost from 2009.

The Mirrors Of Our Life

A troubled man went to a carnival and saw a fortune teller in her tent. 

She said, "That which you seek is not far away.  All you must do is find the reflection within you, and remember that we need never be ashamed of our tears."

He left confused, and pondered her words as he stepped into the funhouse.

Children and adults all around him were laughing at their images in the wavy mirrors, seeing their realities distorted.

Upon stepping up to the first mirror, the man didn't see his distorted reflection, but saw a child of 10 staring back at him. 

The child had red welts around his neck, and his eyes were wary and haunted.  The man recognized himself with a shock as he stared back.

He stepped to the next mirror and again saw a child, a child of 13 with the vacant but giddy expression of one who has just discovered the joys of illicit drugs.  Behind the eyes lurked a truth that belied the grin.  He hesitated before going on to the next mirror, for he was afraid.

He next saw a young man of 18, belligerence and agression stamped all over his face as he leered out of the mirror.  The man stared at the angry eyes of his younger reflection and saw that same truth behind them, present though more disguised.  He didn't want to go on but now felt compelled to learn more about that truth.

He walked on and now saw himself at 25, dismayed but not surprised to see the festering sores of track marks lining his arms and dead eyes looking back at him.  The man could feel the anguish and despair coming from his younger self, and could feel the truth still simmering there even through all the layers of denial. 

The next mirror showed a man of 32, for all appearances on the outside a man who has it all together and is happy; but the eyes never lie...and the man could see how feeble his attempts had been at trying to convince the world he was recovered from his past self-destruction.  He could also feel that other truth hovering near the surface, waiting for the right time to make its presence known.

The man walked on to the next mirror, expecting to see himself as he is now but he was met with blankness; absolutely nothing was reflected.  He was dismayed....why would the mirror not show him anything?  He was desperate for the mirror to reveal the truth; he had been so close. 

He closed his eyes and the fortune teller's words came back to him. 

"That which you seek is not far away.  All you must do is find the reflection within you, and remember that we need never be ashamed of our tears." 

He thought about what he had just seen in the mirrors, all of those moments of his life captured in time.  He realized he already knew the truth, had known it all along.  All of those moments in time going back to childhood flashed through his mind; his eyes opened with a snap.  The truth, at last.  Tears flooded down his face, and he was not ashamed.

He looked back at the mirror and was shocked to now see a reflection; not of him in the present, but a vision of a slightly older man.  The older man was smiling...not a fake smile but a truly joyous one.  Tears stood out on his face too, tears of knowledge of what trials the younger man had yet to endure; but also knowing he would come through them all the peace.

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