When you look into your bathroom mirror, what do you see? Are your eyes drawn to a flaw? Do you check the depth of your wrinkles, see the flabbiness of your muscles, the little zit on your cheek, the imperfection of a tooth? That your hair is sticking up or that more of it is missing?
Next time you find yourself doing that, stop, take a step back, wink at yourself, and grin. Now see the bigger picture. Notice that your eyes are actually seeing. (Neat little miracle, isn’t it?) See that you have marvelous control over your facial muscles and can turn a frown into a smile in a flash. Straighten your posture and smile more. Notice that you have all your parts, and that they’re all working. Wiggle them around and smile even more.
Then notice that you have a mirror, hanging on a solid, decorated wall, and light to see by that illuminates at the flick of a switch, and a room to stand in, with a floor under your feet and a roof over your head.
Change the angle of your gaze and see the abundance of wealth surrounding you in that one, small room. You have magical tools to alter your appearance, fragrant soaps and shampoos, potions to ease your body’s discomforts, items for dressing your wounds, each made from materials gathered from all over the globe and brought to you through the labor of thousands of workers. At the twist of a faucet, you have clean water in whatever temperature you desire, and towels to dry you. In this sheltered space, you have a toilet, and beside it soft tissue, and at a flush your body’s waste is carried away.
Let yourself appreciate all the behind-the-scenes magic that allows you to enjoy the abundance in this one small room. Think of all the ideas, energy and effort behind the design, the research, testing, fabrication, packaging, marketing, and transport of each item it contains. You are living in the midst of the miraculous, right there in front of your bathroom mirror. All it took was a shift of perception to see it. And the one who is doing the seeing is a miracle, too—a miracle of sensory awareness, thought, emotion, cells and systems, movement, growth, and choice.
What’s the point of this little exercise? It’s simply to experience for yourself that a shift in perception is all it ever takes to see the miracles. The whole world is a magical mirror, reflecting back to you your choices of perception. You can concentrate on the flaws it reflects or choose to see its wonders, whether you’re looking without or within.
Sometimes the flaws require our attention. Sometimes they lead us to inventing or applying new ideas that address a genuine need. It’s when they hypnotize us into believing they are the center of our universe and that everything else revolves around them that they become stumbling blocks.
When you learn to step back from the flaws and see them in the greater context, you bring to them an understanding of their insignificance, relative to the whole. You can return to them with a greater objectivity and an expanded awareness of ways to address them and bring them into harmony with your ideals. And, amazingly, sometimes when you see them in a larger context, they simply cease to matter at all.
Remember the miracles the next time you look into your bathroom mirror. Carry that awareness with you into the remainder of your day, and you will find it opening all kinds of beneficial new perspectives. Remember that you can always choose to see a broader, deeper, more wondrous context—one in which the ultimate miracle is your ability to choose what you will see.
By Susan K. Minarik