All that I see in this world is a reflection of who I am. This concept is growing in acceptance throughout the new-thought community. Joshua, the source of the Seventh Major Understanding, shares this belief. He teaches that everything, without exception, that appears “out there” is a reflection of our inner being. Joshua resolutely asserts that there is only one being here. He urges me to look “out there” as if I am looking in a mirror, and he persistently challenges me to be honest about my reflection.
I confess that some things I see in the mirror of life are not pleasant or appealing. It is hard to accept that conditions I find sorrowful and behaviors I find repugnant are a reflection of who I am. The urge to deny some of what I see as a part of my being is strong. I want to assign the face of shadow to others—not me. It’s easy to own the gentle, loving and beautiful reflections of my soul. Like many others, I resist accepting that I am less than peaceful, joyful, loving and kind.
Joshua reminds me it is time to transcend our habits of separation. Now is the time to accept that I’m responsible for ALL that I see “out there.” I shall not look blindly in the mirror any longer. Joshua offers comfort by telling me that many things I see in the mirror are exaggerated. I am not as ugly or as gorgeous as I judge myself to be. He assures me that I have the power here and now to change ALL that I see; yet, I only have this power to change when I accept that IT IS ME. I only have the power to change myself. Moreover, he reminds me to be playful in my creation and to have fun. Taking this reality too seriously is erroneous in his view, and the imagined burden becomes stressful and overwhelming.
To keep my adventure of growth playful and within my scope, all I must do is be the change I wish to see. As I change, the world changes. It is that simple, and I am that powerful. When I remember that the only thing I must change is me, stress floats away with the tide. For example, if I want to influence change regarding global peace, I vow to resolve internal conflict without applying force, coercion, abuse, intimidation and so forth. These internal practices are exaggerated on the global stage and acted out by nations as terrorism and war. When I master peaceful conflict resolution internally, I may expand this practice to my family and my community. It all begins with me.
Consider this insightful story: The following words were inscribed on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in Westminster Abbey approximately 1100 AD. When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it, too, seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it. And now, as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would have been able to better my country, and who knows, I may have even changed the world.
I offered one example of how I may be the change I wish to see in the world. The first step requires removing my blinders when I look in the mirror. I need to courageously accept that all that I see in my world exists to some degree within me. I grow beyond the practice of blaming the mess I see “out there” on others. There is only one being here.
Considering all of Joshua’s teachings, I arrive at this intention of growth: I look in the mirror of my reality without denial and fear. I am wholly unafraid of my entire reflection. All events and my relationships are a mirror of my thoughts, beliefs and expectations. No part of my reflection is good or bad. The judgment I apply to others is truly a reflection of who I am. The way I judge you defines me—not you. When this is forgotten, I fall asleep and believe that we are separate from each other. I appreciate you for being the mirror so I may look deeply into my soul. I gladly hold the mirror for you, too. I thank you for the reflection of my being so I may see my hidden beauty and my denied shadow. I play my way into a new reflection of ALL that I am.