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Are My Friends My Mirror?

Updated on November 3, 2012

“Friends are the mirror reflecting the truth of who we are” - Unknown

Four years ago, I was helping two friends who did not know each other, but were sharing a financial need. Both had the opportunity to get help from me in connecting them to resources that could provide the funds they needed.

One friend, let's call him John, who lives in Indiana, had a desire to go back to college before he turned 50 and get his degree in psychology. Being on disability and on a limited income, he was unable to pay for his college education. Since he asked for my input, I shared with him an email link to the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation as they could assist him. About 15 years ago due to a hearing disability this statewide agency paid $5,000 for computer classes when I was downsized from my corporate job. He ignored the information I sent him, and kept repeating, "it's not God's will he go back to college" and "my dream is over."

The other friend, lets' call her Mary, was living with her grandchild in NY. She has a huge heart, and had temporary custody of her then 7 year old granddaughter, but her daughter was fighting for full custody - problem is her daughter lives with a drug addict and past dealer who has been in and out of jail. The court system is so inept, that instead of making a quick decision, the custody case had been dragging on for 2 years, depleting her of funds. I spent hours for several days in helping her with the application process to obtain $1,000 in financing from donors at Modest Needs to pay her lawyer's fees - and I did it, she got prequalified! But when the organization asked for documents, such as her driver's license, lease and receipts, she was initially not willing to follow through because her driver's license expired and was cursing her 'bad luck.'

I started to feel frustrated because at that point I was not patient with those who did not take advantage of opportunity or gave up too easily. I was complaining to myself while taking a deep breath, and rolling my eyes, until I remembered that we are all students and teachers. What we see in the other is an opportunity to reflect on what is going on within us.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. - Carl Jung
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. - Carl Jung

I realized that I have some of the traits that JOHN and MARY has. The impatient breathing and eye rolling suddenly stopped.

John and Mary give up too easily, and so do I in certain areas. What a perfect reflection, they were my mirrors, we all are!

I had been promising myself to write a book for years, but never followed through. I had tried to change some habits such as my eating habits - and always went back to my old habits as soon as I was bored or challenged about an issue. I found I seemed to be stuck in some areas of my life, while in others there was growth,

I have learned that being self-aware and an objective observer of our patterns helps us to understand ourselves better and to heal our lives. With this awareness, I broke through a pattern of procrastination and finally wrote my book "Beyond Inspiration" and published it. I also changed a few of my eating habits for the better. It's four years later, and I still have retained the healthier eating habits.

As for my friends, John decided not to go back to college and it's okay, we are entitled to change our minds. Mary finally followed through with the required documentation and won the custody case.

Thank you John and Mary for being my teachers on patience and in helping me to see my own self-limiting patterns.


We are here to learn, to teach, to nurture and to care - Anonymous

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    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 4 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Hi Glenn, there is a saying that "we teach what we need to learn" and I think it's true. Thank you for the congrats and reading. :)

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      This is an interesting analogy to undertand how our friends resemble who we are. Many times when we are prone to help a friend, it may actually be a way of helping ourselves. We sometimes find it easier to offer help or guidance to someone than it is to take our own advice. I realize that many times when I am inclined to help a friend with an issue they are having, I may very well have those same issues.

      Congratulations on finishing your book and getting it published.

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Thank you, Ashley! :)

    • Ashley Gisell profile image

      Ashley G. Peña 5 years ago from New York

      I'm blushing:) I see myself in you too. I will check out fastpencil.com thanks! I will forever support you! You're amazing.

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Ashley, I so see myself in you, (smiles). I remember writing in my journal (which had many unfinished pages, LOL) that I felt frustrated I made too many goals at the same time and never finished them. This pattern lasted for years and years until I finally stop doing this. Whenever we have a moment of clarity about ourselves it weakens our patterns in subtle ways . Thanks so much for your comments and support. And yes, you can write that book! I highly recommend FastPencil.com to use as a guideline for a book. It's free. Every entry you make there becomes a chapter, so it's easy to see the book start to take form. However, for publishing a book Amazon is the best.

    • Ashley Gisell profile image

      Ashley G. Peña 5 years ago from New York

      Wow, I'm so glad I woke up out of my sleep and came across your hub. I applaud you on writing your book and that you had overcome procrastination. I too am I huge procrastinator, but I do take on too many challenges and it back fires because I often don't finish things. I just spontaneously start other projects without having completing one. It's a work in progress. I think you speak truth when you say that the tongs and people around us a reflection of us. I also have experienced situations when I often give people outlets and opportunities, many of them do not take. It frustrates me, but in them I saw where I have failed in certain things just like them. I have learned to look at myself more and work on things where I lack, instead of getting frustrated and letting it bring me down. I am slowly but surely overcoming a lot, like you I also would like to write a book. It's on my list of things I'd like to accomplish. (I make too many lists, and I don't do as much things on that list. (My the list can go from 80 things to do to 200 in a matter of days). But anywho congratulations, you're a great writer and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this hub.

    • FolliediVetro profile image

      Lily 5 years ago from Malta

      Thanks a lot.

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      I like this: "but if you stop to be an actor and become a spectator...that means that you leave a space between you and the situation, you become able to watch in the mirror." Thank you for your insightful comments!

    • FolliediVetro profile image

      Lily 5 years ago from Malta

      Sometimes you can understand immediately what the situation wants to learn you,but if you stop to be an actor and become a spectator...that means that you leave a space between you and the situation,you become able to watch in the mirror.

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Shrikrishnap, Yes we are all connected and affect one another.

      Niteriter, Oh, what a beautiful thing to say. Thank you so much! You inspired me tonight. :)

      haroldhora, I am happy you noticed the quotes. I wanted to enhance the message of the article with the quotes. And wonderful if you do buy my book! :)

      crystolite, Isn't that a truth... and when we change we flock with different birds...

      Esther Strong , I understand what you mean. :) The wonderful thing about having the courage to look at our faults is we can make our minds up to let it go without any self-criticism.

      pstraubie48, Wonderful you are also on the path of growth. Thank you for your interest in the book. :)

      FolliediVetro, Great! So you already are doing this. I learned this four years ago, didn't know about the mirroring thing for years.

    • FolliediVetro profile image

      Lily 5 years ago from Malta

      I usually start to help myself talking with another person,in that case I see what is right for him and also often for me.In his lack of strength I can recognize myself.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      so of course now, I must go in search of one of your books to read more. Continually filling myself with thoughts that cause me to consider what direction in which I am moving. Friends certainly can and do serve as a mirror for us. And pushing onward and not giving up easily allows us to keep on reaching. Thanks for sharing this with us. ps

    • Esther  Strong profile image

      Esther Strong 5 years ago from UK

      Reading this make me think I need to spend more time in reflection.

      Hmm...

      Why is it so easy to see the faults of others and not notice faults within ourselves?

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 5 years ago from Houston TX

      That's very true. Birds of the same feather will definitely flock together.

    • haroldhora profile image

      Harold Hora 5 years ago from United States

      I loved how you included some inspirational quotes like "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. - Carl Jung". This is such an interesting hub. I think I might buy one of your books someday. :)

    • Niteriter profile image

      Niteriter 5 years ago from Canada

      I was struck by two things in this story: 1) your willingness to reach out to others in a time of need; and 2) your willingness to see the lessons that were offered to you rather than falling into the trap of blaming your friends.

      If you continue to allow the Life Energy to flow through you in this manner, I have expectations that "Beyond Inspiration" will not be your last book. I salute you as a fine human being.

    • Shrikrishnap profile image

      Shrikrishna Potdar 5 years ago from Bangalore

      A nice hub :) very true that friends play very important in our life & they shape our life in some or the other way.

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Hi Tebo, it can get very interesting to discover that we may have certain traits that we see in others. :)

      Littlerose, You wanted an article that would guide you to achieving your dreams and goals? You can do a search in Hubpages and you will find many articles on empowerment. :)

      Deepika, Yes, and it's humbling at the same time to see that everything is our reflection!

      Cctvsam, That's wonderful your friends have changed along with you, most people don't change closely so they drift apart.

      carolinemd21, Glad you enjoyed the article! :)

      Loveofnight, How are you? So good to see you again. :) Yes, like attracts like; we are all connected.

      Kajsuga, As I mentioned to Deepika, it is humbling to see reflections coming back at us. For this reason, I do my best not to judge or criticize.

    • kajnsuga profile image

      kajnsuga 5 years ago from Texas

      I am overwhelmed with the realism of this hub. Insightful and reflective of myself being mirrored in my friends. I will make an effort to be more dutiful and respectful, especially since birds of a feather really do flock together

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 5 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      We do tend to gather people around us that are more like us than not, I really didn't pay it much attention before reading this hub. Birds of a feather do flock together.......a good share indeed

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 5 years ago

      Great inspiring hub! I love that idea that our friends are our mirrors. :)

    • cctvsam profile image

      cctvsam 5 years ago from Texas

      Great article. I completely believe that your friends are your mirror to how you feel about yourself. As I've gotten older and my personality has changed, so have my friends. I have a handful of friends that are still friends but only because they have changed closely enough to me.

    • deepikamehra2012 profile image

      Deepika Mehra 5 years ago from New Delhi

      I think everything and everyone is your mirror. It is only when you understand what it truly means to see yourself reflected back at you. Nodoubt friends also play a very important role in your life..great content keep it up.

    • littlerose11 profile image

      littlerose11 5 years ago

      I wanted more article which can encourage persons to achieve their dreams and goals...

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 5 years ago from New Zealand

      A very interesting hub. I will have to give this one some thought. Have never thought of friends as mirrors, and next time I am dissecting their behaviour I will have to look at myself and see where the corresponding behaviour is. Thanks for sharing.

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Glad you enjoyed the article, Gesithub. :D

    • Gesithub profile image

      Gesit Prayoga 5 years ago from Indonesia

      friends is mirror ..

      yeaah, something new

      like

      :D

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Dreamseeker, Thanks so much for the votes! :)

      Janell, May you continue to be health conscious, as it's a good investment for our future.

    • Janellhihi profile image

      Janell Hihi 5 years ago from Minneapolis

      This is very true! I realized my social circle is not very health conscious and the more we hung out, the less health conscious I became.

    • profile image

      dreamseeker2 5 years ago

      Now this one hits home...I to have found my friends often reflect who I am. This was a very insightful hub with many lessons to learn. Voted up and awesome! : )

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      badmofo, Yes, those are also very important questions to ask why we tolerate negative friendships or relationships, it's usually a lack of self-love or low self-esteem. If we keep the pattern within us, we will continue attracting more of the same with new friendships. Thanks for your input!

    • badmofo profile image

      badmofo 5 years ago from The Universe

      Discern your friends. Chuck the ones that choose to stagnate and don't know why they don't do anything that they do. They don't change and they don't improve. The lesson is: Who was the you that tolerated that person that far and who is the you that is STILL tolerating them? Why? Who's in our life (friends, lovers, whatever) reflects our good judgment (or lack of). Who we toss out also reflects it.

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Thank you Funom and Mike for reading and the vote up.

    • profile image

      Mike 5 years ago

      Friends are a true mirror...great hub...enjoyed visiting here! http://www.micoequipment.com/

    • Funom Makama 3 profile image

      Funom Theophilus Makama 5 years ago from Europe

      Excellent hub.... Thanks for the share and definitely voted up

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Myday, thanks for reading! :)

      Elle64, glad you got something out of this hub. We all learn from one another.

      Ed, You words are very kind as usual, my friend. :) I love to help and see other thrive as I also have been on the recieving end of kindness from others. It's a grand journey and we are all in it together.

      Diana, Long time no see, so good to see you. Have fun seeing the reflections you may find yourself surprised. :)

      Thank you, Chewy Mommy! :)

      Renee, Yes, I have had many lessons on self-love and once I got it, there are certain relationships that are no longer in my life.

      Bedbug, Wonderful! I also have a few friends that are what I call kindred spirits, we share so much and uplift one another.

    • Bedbugabscond profile image

      Melody Trent 5 years ago from United States

      I only have a few really good friends. You know, the true ones who you know will always stick with you. Interestingly enough, we all seem to share the drive to never give up or give in, no matter what life hands us. When one of us falls off the never give up wagon, another pulls them back on.

      I wish I had had friends like this when I was younger, but I am very thankful to have them now.

    • ReneeDC1979 profile image

      Renee' D. Campbell 5 years ago from Gaithersburg, Maryland

      Very nice article - it really makes you think about who you let in your life and what opportunities present themselves as you go along the way.

    • profile image

      Chewy Mommy 5 years ago

      Good insight! This article gave me something to think about. Congrats on the book as well!

    • dianacharles profile image

      dianacharles 5 years ago from India

      'What we see in the other is an opportunity to reflect on what is going on within us.' Maybe it is time for me to start reflecting....hope I like most of what I see. :)

      Very nicely written Marie... you always give me something to ponder over.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 5 years ago

      My friend Marie ! Perfect lines ! Why am I not a bit surprised that the teacher here is you as is the student but the real story :.... the hero here is you as well ! I always loved someones term ," Step up to the plate , someone needs to be the hero ".........and there YOU are hitting it out of the park!

    • elle64 profile image

      elle64 5 years ago from Scandinavia

      There is uch a good lesson in this hub for me- thanks

    • myday2012 profile image

      Sheryl Day 5 years ago from Australia

      A very thought provoking hub, and an enjoyable read!

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Thank you crystolite for reading and your comments. :) If more of us became self-aware, I think we would a healthier world.

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 5 years ago from Houston TX

      I really enjoyed your hub and I agree with you on self awareness being important. Once again thanks for the hub and stay blessed.

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Terry, the soul buddies group we have is reflecting back the beauty and love that is within us, and I am very grateful for this! Thanks for the vote. :) Love and Light ~

    • Terry27 profile image

      Terry Fatland 5 years ago from Southern California

      Marie, thank you very much for sharing this insightful and important hub. We often don't realize how people show up in our life to show us what we need to work on. Gregg Braden mentioned that there are different types of mirrors that show up in our life. On a positive note, these mirrors can also reflect the beauty and love that exists within all of us. Thank you, my friend, from speaking from the heart. Voted up, Useful, and Awesome. Love & Light, Terry

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Hugs back at you, Michelle! Can hear your chuckles on my end. hehe. :)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      It is humorous Marie...love and hugs to you! Hehehehe

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      CL, Thank you. Sounds good to admire your friends! :)

    • Conservative Lady profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Very much a thought provoking hub - so glad I admire my friends so much! lol ;-)

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Michelle, You and I are often in sync to the point of it being humorous at times. LOL.

      Dear Petra, Thank you, and the good news is the mirror can also reflect back our good qualities, so when I see love in you and in all, I am seeing that love in me as well.

      Melovy, Children are out best teachers, and it's great you learn from your children. And yes, good point, it is very easy to attack ourselves but that defeats the purpose of learning and letting go of that which blocks our personal growth. I am still a work in progress have more to let go. :)

      Dottie, Good to see you my friend! :) It's almost freaky to see that what we resist in others is connected to something we are ourselves in need of looking at and releasing.

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 5 years ago from MA, USA

      I will have to pay more attention to what's being mirrored. Thanks for bringing this to my attention Marie!

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      I agree with this hub, and often see the see the same mirroring in my children. In fact often I've seen or heard them do something and only later seen it in myself. It's easy to attack ourselves when we see this, but that never helps. Far better to do as you did and find a way to heal the patterns.

      Awesome hub, and I love your honesty!

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      My dear Marie,

      so good to see you and so happy to be reminded about friends with whom we can share our lives and learn from - because they are us. Thank you Marie for always inspiring me and others

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Yes they are our mirrors...hehehhe And I continue to learn from each one of them as well as you dearest Marie! Loved this hub! Sharing it!

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      FP, Thank you! Try it and you will be surprised or not... but you will see a reflection. :)

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 5 years ago

      Yet another thought provoking hub from you! I think I'm going to spend some time figuring out what my friends are mirroring...I'm sure I'll be surprised! :)

    • VioletSun profile image
      Author

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Kschang, I like the quote you shared, very true!

    • kschang profile image

      kschang 5 years ago from San Francisco, CA, USA

      Jim Rohn once said "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." It is so very true.