Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reflections [LATE] #HAWMC

This #HAWMC challenge is about #reflection. Shown back to us, a reflection is not the thing itself, but its image. The Impressionist painters were all about reflections, having been influenced by the Japanese Edo artists and the Japanese "Floating World," a reflection of this Earth, in the clouds, where any manner of magical things can happen, wonderful or otherwise. Reflection can also be the literal thing: what we see in the mirror: the face that is shown back to us. It is also not the person themselves, but the flipped image of ourselves. As such, it too can be inaccurate---showing us as we seems to be, rather than we are.

With mental reflecting, it's no different. I am looking at the image in my mind and recalling the event. It is not the even itself. There are my recollections and my impressions layered on top of my memory of the experience. Recalling it does not mean experiencing the event again. Oh, sure, it can feel like that...and the intensity of emotion attached to that memory can transform you from calm to hysterical depending on the level of trauma involved. But it is not re-living the same experience again. It's a reflection of that event...a copy in my head. And that's a very important point...

It means we're in control.

Think about it...I could be happy, enjoying a beautiful day, when in my head something gets triggered and a memory bubbles up. It was a beautiful day like this when the planes struck the towers too... BAM! Suddenly that beautiful day turns into a nightmare like that day of horror back in September. It no linger matters that it's over a decade later, you're there now: reliving that memory, and all the emotions with it. You're no longer seeing today and in fact, you eyes are open, but you're literally seeing something else. You're dreaming while awake, seeing the past rather than now. And it all feels so REAL! But it's a fantasy. OUR fantasy, conjured up from our own mind. It's a recording that we're playing back to ourselves in 3D-stereo-full-immersion-virtual-reality!

Meaning: We can edit the tape.

This is what's so wonderful about the human mind: we can literally make our own happiness. If we have a horrifying memory, we can edit it! Now, I don't mean edit it to the point of fantasy. I'm talking about responsible re-evaluation. Yes, that full-immersion memory is How We Remember It Going Down... but what if we looked at it from a different point of view? What if we had some background information that put a new perspective on everything that happened? Like in the TV shows, what if there's some secret that only the audience knows that changes the meaning of the entire episode?

I'll give you an example.

I was in therapy with my counselor, telling her about a particularly terrifying experience I had as a child. I was awoken in the middle of the night to hear my parents creaming at one another. I remember their voices were so loud it was hurting my ears on the outside *and* the inside. The house was dark except for the light on in their room, but the door was shut, so it was just the tiny line of it from beneath the door.

I walked that long scary hallway as they were yelling and opened the door. They didn't notice me at first and kept yelling. I walked up next to them and yelled: "STOP! Stop fighting! Mommies and Daddies aren't supposed to fight!" and I broke down crying.

At this point my counselor gasped and said (before her brain was able to stop her): "Oh how brave!!"

Cold water splashed all over me (not really, but it felt like it!). Brave? OH! Oh holy crap! YES!! I was BRAVE in that moment! I was a child confronting screaming adults and telling them to get their act together! I didn't even consider that at the time! I was a kid! I was terrified and though I was going to die because my family was falling apart. I never stopped to consider that what I was doing was brave. That didn't occur to me.

The fear of that experience melted away in the light of my adult truth: that was an amazing thing I did as a child, and I can be proud and amazed at myself and my accomplishments. What a WORLD of difference!

So what about that awful memory you have? Take a look at it again, but don't re-live it: look at it from a different point of view! See if there is some new way to look at it to change it from awful to awesome.

The reflection is not reality.

It's the floating cloud world where anything can be real. It's the tape in your head that you can re-record. It's the 3D-immersion-virtual-reality that YOU have the power to edit. It's the painting in your mind's eye and the paintbrush in your heart. YOU have the power over your reflections.

What do you see?

P.S. Sorry for the lateness... It took a while for me to write this post. I had to reflect on the topic a while...LOL! *rimshot*

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