"You Are My Other Me..."
“Tú eres mi otro yo. You are my other me.
Si te hago daño a ti, If I do harm to you,
Me hago daño a mí mismo. I do harm to myself.
Si te amo y respeto, If I love and respect you,
Me amo y respeto yo." I love and respect myself.
- IN LAK’ECH
This blog, like my writing habits in general, has had many stops and starts. I don’t berate myself for it, but instead choose to give myself some self-compassion and accept the fact that my life reflects a path that is filled with both the smooth and the rocky, the challenging and the sublime. And yet, to resist the path is to remain in the same place, to go nowhere… unable to move elsewhere, except maybe back. And so it is with my writing, I have regained my footing so that I may stay the course, however nuanced it may be. In this spirit, I took myself to task…
It was a beautiful, sunny November day (unseasonably warm even for California) when I found myself scrolling through the drafts of essays on my laptop. I was trying to locate the flagship essay penned for this blog, earlier this year. To my surprise: nothing.
I did however, find a cache of drafts that had catchy titles and food for thought… all of which highlighted events this year - none, unfortunately, had found its way to this blog. Instead, the unborn essays lay entombed in their virtual cocoons, anxiously waiting for my next move.
It was this quote in red “You Are My Other Me,” that caught my attention. I remember copying and pasting it from a work email – the context had to do with helping the wave of refugees coming in from Central and South America. The words of the quote, powerful reminders of our humanity, served to remind me that we are not so different from those fleeing political prosecution, famine and war. And yet, I wondered if the words truly resonated for its email recipients… or were they merely flagged as more “junk” and deleted.
Reading them again – you are my other me – made me think about how we sometimes choose not to see our shared humanity with those portrayed as different…. And because of this difference, we do not feel they “belong” to us or to our society. I wondered too if that also applied to ourselves.
When we choose not to see our shadow side, how does this then affect our relationship to ourselves?
Do we ask ourselves whose labels of worthiness we have adopted and why?
Do we reject others as equally as we reject these unwanted parts to ourselves?
And do we stop to notice with whose mirror we are using to view the self?
When we get used to seeing ourselves through a cracked mirror, we lose sight of the fact that we are not the distorted image that we see.
In fact, take away the cracked mirror and we see ourselves clearly – perfectly whole, perfectly made. The world in which we live has created distorted imagery about how we should see ourselves, what is of importance and what is of value. But these definitions are frequently based on societal ideas about status – not based on love or one’s capacity to love. In this vein, the fundamental truths about ourselves becomes lost and disconnected.
When we see ourselves through the lens of our own hearts, it is then that we see the totality of our own being – one rooted in love for self and love for others. When we change the mirror that we are using, it is then that we see that we are nothing less and nothing more than the beautiful and loving eyes returning our gaze.
P.S. Feel free to join the conversation any time :)