How many of you step out of your home without looking at the mirror which reflects your body image? I would be surprised if one answers- never. Everyone at their home has mirrors which they visit at least once in a while. All want to look good, beautiful or handsome when they go out and interact with people in their vicinity, be it family members, friends or colleagues.
The idea of looking good physically is so deeply ingrained in our mind that we go to different places like parlours where we go for various beauty treatments. We go to malls and markets to buy different clothes, jewellery and accessories to look our best. We also get critical about what to eat, what to avoid for preventing weight gain and lifestyle disorders. We carve out time for physical activity to portray a perfect figure or physique. All these things cross our mind several times. How effectively we execute them depends on how honestly we want them and how much we are willing to stake our comfort zone. We frequently glance at our physical self in the mirrors and reflective surfaces at home and other places, and often on selfie-cameras of the mobile phone we carry most of the time.
In doing so, we have actually come to believe that by investing time and money on our physical self, wearing best clothes, best shoes, holidaying in the most exotic places, we are probably living our best lives. The definition of handsome and beautiful is now measured on a scale of likes and comments on our photos on Facebook and Instagram.
However, what happens if we do not use a mirror for a long time? It gets covered in dust and stained, making the reflection hard to see. Therefore, we frequently clear the mirrors with a clean cloth so that it reflects the image clearly.
There also exists an intangible spiritual mirror and unlike the mirror we discussed earlier it can’t be found in many places. It only lies in one place -within us. It is our conscience. It is defined as a person’s moral sense of right and wrong, which acts as a guide to regulate one’s behavior. It is our intangible soul which peeps into this mirror.
Now ponder for a moment- are your actions, thoughts and decisions in line with your inner happiness? Are you content with where you are in your life now? Are you happy in your relationship? Remember all your actions, behaviours and attitudes are driven by your conscience. So, if the answers to all these questions are “no” or not a firm “yes”, believe me, your spiritual mirror has been covered in dust which is basically the absence of spiritual knowledge. And, in the absence of spiritual knowledge, your fear-ridden, doubtful, body-obsessed conscious-self put a layer of dust and dirt on the spiritual mirror (conscience). Now the question arises- why doesn’t one pay attention to spiritual knowledge? This is because our body is tangible and observable but our inner thoughts are not. People will easily tell you whether you look beautiful or ugly. But our thoughts, attitude, and behaviour are intangible. And because no one would be able to know what our thought process or state of mind is, unless we reflect it through our body actions, we tend to pay the least attention to these. Our physical body seems to overshadow our soul and we end up investing most of our time to think about our body needs. As a result, we inadvertently ignore nourishment for our conscience or soul. As a ruffled mind makes a restless pillow, a stained spiritual mirror leaves you with a mindset driven with fears, doubts, distractions, confusion and negativity.
We all know our physical body won’t last forever but our soul is immortal. We invest a lot of time adorning our physical self. We see ourselves through the expectation and appreciation lens of others. Sally Field, a famous American actress said, “It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.” And it is an irony that more often than not we actually judge ourselves through someone else’s eyes. Our body and soul are like two wheels of a bicycle and if you want to go smoothly, both wheels should move ahead equally. Otherwise, you can imagine how it feels like balancing on just one wheel.
There is an adage which states that only real friends will tell you when your face is dirty. I believe only your conscience will tell you when your actions are right or wrong. So, stretch this muscle of conscience, it will grow stronger and regulate your actions with integrity. That will breed a fulfilling life for you and others around you.
Author Jim Rohn said, “Formal education will make you a living but self-education will make you a fortune.” It will wipe off the stains, dirt, cloudiness which may have accumulated on your spiritual mirror. So, I would like to encourage all of you to carve out some time and wipe off the dirt on the stained glass of the spiritual mirror. Indulge in reading books of wisdom, spend time with your loved ones and listen to motivational speeches and podcasts of enlightened people who consistently keep their spiritual mirror clean.
Remember, the physical mirror shows us what we are but it is the spiritual mirror which shows us who we are.(The author is a research scholar involved in food & nutrition, climate change & disaster management.) Friday, 17 May 2019 | Pushpa Dhami | in Devbhoomi Spiritual