The affirming mirror
By QuaWanna Bannarbie
Have you noticed how childhood stories stick with us for a lifetime?
One of my favorite storybook characters came from the Disney tale of Snow White. I adored this story not for the seven dwarfs or for the charming prince. I loved the mirror.
My sisters and I would stand in front of our bedroom mirror and repeat the words of the Evil Queen, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who’s the fairest of them all?” I remember we would jokingly push each other from in front of the mirror answering our own question to the mirror by stating “I am.” We also used to sing in front of the mirror. Diana Ross certainly must have written the lyrics to her song just for us:
“Tell me mirror, mirror, mirror on the wall
Thought you said
You had the answer to it all.”
We loved that song. I could not imagine my young life without a mirror. When there was no television to watch or games to play, there was always a mirror. My mother has several photos of us taking pictures standing in front of the mirror. Grandma would say that we enjoyed “primping ourselves in the mirror.” Not much has changed. I still love the mirror.
In the tale of Snow White, the mirror is referred to as “The Magic Mirror.” I know that part of the attraction and popularity of the Disney franchise was magic. However, I so wish that this mirror was not given this name. The mirror’s truth is not magical or mysterious. Unlike the depiction of the childhood tale, the mirror’s influence is not enchantment, witchcraft or sorcery. The mirror has an influence that is most precious and divine. It is the affirming mirror. Although the Evil Queen of Snow White is sinister and we certainly do not want to follow her character, she taught us something about mirrors and their aphorisms that will stand the test of time. She stood there every day for the mirror to affirm her, because she knew the mirror cannot lie.
Mirrors are said to be carriers of truth. When you are looking at yourself in the mirror, you are viewing a true representation of the image of yourself reflected by light onto the reflective glass surface.
I still love the mirror because of its affirming qualities. The mirror presents what is true and delivers awareness. Standing in front of the mirror is the best place to state personal affirmations. I also think the mirror is safe. There is no one there but you and your image.
Personal reflection is good for us, but it can be difficult, which is why some people need help learning to properly affirm themselves. In addition, our difficulties with personal reflection can be harmful and put us in harm’s way and cause risky behaviors. We should not avoid the mirror. The mirror helps us to be healthy and self-aware. We need the mirror to make sound decisions, to develop our communication skills and to lead ourselves so that we can eventually lead others. We need the mirror’s help to realize our full potential.
There are benefits to the affirming mirror. Our mirrors assist us in discovering the truth of who we really are. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” The mirror provides the evidence whether we are truly becoming the image of our Creator.
I challenge you to write some affirmations and mount them to your mirror. Read the affirmations as you look into your own eyes. For parents, I challenge you to write affirmations on the mirrors of your children’s bedrooms and bathrooms. Nothing says love like a written note from mom or dad that is taped to the mirror that instructs your son or daughter, “Say this three times. I am loved. I am loved. I AM LOVED.”
QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.