When man[kind] found the mirror, he began to lose his soul (Emile Durkheim). When the social mirror becomes the fundamental source of self-esteem, integrity and leadership deteriorate. A person cannot do right in one department of life while attempting to do wrong in another department, life is one indivisible whole (Gandhi). One can only lead from a foundation of trustworthiness and integrity, character and competence, wisdom, and compassion. Trustworthiness will not exist if personal image is more important than integrity. Integrity cannot exist in the presence of duplicity. If the only vision we have of ourselves comes from the social mirror — from the current social paradigm and from the opinions, perceptions, and paradigms of the people around us — our view of ourselves is like the reflection in the crazy mirror room at the carnival levels (Stephen Covey). Leaders must communicate people’s worth and potential so clearly that the people are inspired to see it in themselves. Hopefully, we begin to see that leadership is the art of mobilizing and energizing the intellectual and creative resources of all people at all levels (Stephen Covey).

You have no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring you.
Nothing seemed right.
What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine,
or water to the ocean.
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.
It’s no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.
So I’ve brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.
~Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi (1207-1273, Turkey)

God looks at us as we are; to gaze and delight in us. As in Paul’s message to Corinth: our unveiled gaze receives, and like a mirror, reflects the brightness of God (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Do you know what you are?
You are a manuscript of a divine letter.
You are a mirror reflecting a noble face.
This universe is not outside of you.
Look inside yourself;
everything that you want,
you are already that.
~Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi (1207-1273, Turkey)

Like any true mirror, the gaze of God receives us exactly as we are, without judgment or distortion, subtraction or addition.  Such perfect receiving is what transforms us.  Being totally received as we truly are is what we wait and long for all our lives.  All we can do is receive and return the loving gaze of God every day, and afterwards we will be internally free and deeply happy at the same time.  The One who knows all has no trouble including, accepting, and forgiving all.  Soon we who are gazed upon so perfectly can pass on the same accepting gaze to all others who need it.  There is no longer any question “does he or she deserve it?”  What we received was totally undeserved itself (Richard Rohr).

My dear,
If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?
Realize that you are a rock, a diamond if you will.
Every rub and friction you experience is thus not something trying to destroy.
It’s trying to polish. Trying to better.
Trying to smoothen the rough, to clear the unclear, to beautify,
and to make you something that in the end is so elegant
and magnificent that you are worth far beyond your weight in gold.
You shine the the light! After all you are a diamond.
Falsely yours,
~Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi (1207-1273, Turkey)

This is my yearning.  My experience with God’s love once absorbed, is that it can’t be held.  The only way to truly experience God’s love is to share it.  Share it with everyone, everywhere, it multiplies and transcends space and time.  Its light can go into the darkest smallest space…and the miracle of transformation begins…again. And that mirror reveals our True Self.

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