There was a legend of an ancient castle that had a thousand mirrors in one of its halls. So one of the village men heard of this legend and decided to go and see if it was true. He entered the castle as exhilarated as a man can be, and when he entered the hall, he saw a thousand smiling faces staring at him. Another man heard of the incident and decided to go as well, he entered the hall with a frown, and to his disappointment he saw a thousand frowning faces staring at him.
We always hear people say that each person sees the world from his or her own eyes, but how often do we consider the fact that each person also sees him or herself in others? This mirror effect explains the reason why we all experience things and people differently. Dr. Khalid AlManif, a Kuwaiti author once wrote: “All faces are a mirror reflection, which reflection do you see?”
In 1678, King Louis XIV ordered the construction of the hall of mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. He ordered that the hall must have a good view of the palace gardens, and he ordered the installation of 21 mirrors. Everyday he’d pass by and enjoy the beautiful reflections of the garden.
Imagine how amazing it would be, to see everything so beautiful all the time. But the truth is that if we are put in a situation where we should experience joy while our mood is a bit rocky, that joyful experience will be disrupted.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
There was a psychological test I once had where I was presented with three different words: fire, stone, and water. I had to respond with one word for each of those three words. The word I chose would explain my state at that moment. For example, if my response to fire was “warmth”, then that would mean that I was in a positive and happy state. While if my response was something like “death”, then that would mean I was in a very negative state.
I never noticed how important it is to be aware of your emotions and how you see things until I started working recently. Fortunately, my colleagues are as positive as can be. While I was working with them I never complained because I never heard them complain, and not once did they badmouth someone else in the working place. But as I started mingling with co-workers from other departments, I heard the most negative comments one can imagine. To be honest it got to me at first, but then I realized that in the end it’s up to me whether I choose to have a healthy relationship with those around me or not.
Frances Burnett once said, “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” We can’t always be a bundle of joy in order to live a happy life. But it’s very important to know that we can’t blame everyone for everything. Sometimes, it is simply in our head. When all reflections seem unpleasant, then we need to look into the eyes of the one staring at those reflections, ourselves.
Hamda AlHashemi is a 20 something year old interior design graduate, and an SZHP employee. She appreciates art, food, psychology and culture. For her, Arabic calligraphy is music for the eyes; beautiful and calming. She thrives to become an entrepreneur of her own furniture line and aims to get her Phd on the long run. Hamda’s articles revolve around how our psychological thoughts influence our actions, and how to use them to our advantage.