What you see in others IS a reflection of who YOU are.
A believer is a mirror to another believer.
Often, it is easy to look at others and see their mistakes, the issues, problems, the things that make us upset. So why would the prophet peace be upon him say this narration?
This is because, what you and I see and think about others, comes from what is in our own hearts and minds. The way we look at others is really a projection of that which is within us. This is one of the reasons why the prophet peace be upon him said that we are mirrors to each other. When we look, if all we see is negative, bleak, we see mistakes or flaws in others, it is because we have conditioned ourselves to see this and in fact have begun to internalize this way of thinking. Sometimes, it is because we feel negative about ourselves that we look down on others to try to feel good.
During this month, when we take away the distractions from our life and we have time to reflect, a question to ask ourselves is- “What am I seeing when I look at others? And if everything I see is negative, when I look at people, I see their flaws and faults, then what does that say about me as an individual?”
Perhaps we need to spend more time reflecting on ourselves, on the things we need to work on to improve ourselves and instead of looking at peoples’ flaws and mistakes if we try to find the good in them, the redeeming qualities we may begin to notice a change in our own lives.
This lesson can be further extended to all people around us and to our societies. When we look around, what we see is another example of who we are as individuals. When you look around, do you see hope? a chance for change? opportunities for mercy and kindness? OR do you see darkness? a lack of hope? despair?
So if we go back to the narration, that “God will not change a condition of a people until they first change what is in their hearts”, it helps us to understand why- what we see is a reflection of what is within. It gives us an opportunity to ask ourselves, what it is we need to change from within? How do we mould our hearts so that the reflection that we see of ourselves in others and society is one of hope, beauty, mercy, kindness and optimism?
God is Beautiful and loves beauty and we hope that by extension what we see is a reflection of beauty from within ourselves. One of my friends said, it is like going on a treasure hunt when you look at others, you find the things that make them beautiful. Instead of seeing the mistakes, it is about making seventy excuses for someone and never judging others because we didn’t walk in their shoes.
As we work on improving our hearts and our connection with God, let us allow that beauty and peace pervade into what we see around us and in how we interact with others.
Letter to Self # 28: Those We Ignore
Letter to the Self # 27: Destination or the Journey!
Letter to the Self # 26: Change
Letters to the Self #25: Window of Opportunity
Letters to the Self #24: More Than You Think You Are Able
Letters to the Self #23: Submission
Letter to the Self #22: Do You Have Trust Issues?
Letter to the Self #21: Possessions
Letter to the Self #20: Sacred Spaces
Letter to the Self # 19: The Big “I”
Letter to the Self # 18: Insecurities
Letter to the Self # 17: Backbiting