As a psychologist, I spend far too much time instructing others on how to use mirrors. I never presume that other people are intelligent until they prove otherwise, but for the life of me I cannot understand how it is that people have no idea how to use mirrors. We live in a society where mirrors are EVERYWHERE. They are in every bathroom and store all over this not so great American country. Yet, I rarely encounter an individual who uses mirrors optimally. We all just willingly accept all these mirrors into our lives without ever considering how to properly use them. As I said, I never presume that someone is intelligent unless they prove otherwise. I often question my own intelligence since I am very aware that we become that which we are surrounded by.
I realize that clients are paying a lot of money for my time ($200.00 for fifty minutes), but I know that if people really understood how to use mirrors my job would be irrelevant. In reality, and I could get in a lot of trouble if my colleagues knew that I felt this way, psychology is one of the most useless professions in the world. I dream of a day when humans will wake up and call psychology’s bluff. The only way that psychology proves truly effective is for placing individuals into diagnostic boxes, making them feel like disempowered victims, keeping them enslaved in their thoughts and egos, getting them on certain psychiatric medications and as a result creating more social cohesion/conformity and maximizing profits for numerous corporations. If you are smart I am not telling you anything you don’t know. If you are not very smart you are probably living with a diagnosis and have already taken your morning pill. My hope is that learning how to properly use mirrors will help you help yourself.
The vast majority of individuals look in a mirror and see a not so good reflection of themselves. They criticize, analyze and evaluate the image that is reflected back at them. If you are doing this on a daily basis how do you ever expect to be happy? Because the vast majority of Americans lack any kind of refined and self-realized intelligence, they do not realize that mirrors are everywhere not so that you can continually check yourself out and see how good you do or do not look. No, this is a mindless use of mirrors and it is not surprising that it is how most people interact with mirrors. The reason why mirrors are really everywhere is because they are a fundamental mechanism of social control. Since I have to be at my unpleasant job very soon and be subjected to the agony of being around other people, I do not want to waste too much time explaining this to you. If you wish you can read my book entitled, “The Mirror That is Destroying You.” In chapter eleven I take a very deep look at how mirrors are used for social control. What I will say here is that we all look into mirrors to see if we measure up to what society’s expectations are. We continually use mirrors to make sure we are adequately conforming to “other people’s” expectations of how we should look. Most of you have already used your mirror in this very normalizing way at least once or twice today.
Instead of using mirrors as a mechanism of wide spread social control and self criticism, I recommend to my clients that they learn to use mirrors as a vehicle for personal liberation. Rather than giving in to what everyone else is doing, stop using your mirror to see if you measure up to some unachievable ideal that has been lodged in your brain and keeps you in a continual state of never really growing up. Instead compliment yourself when you catch your reflection hanging out in a mirror. Resist the urge to criticize and instead send yourself a gesture of goodwill. Smile. Speak nice words to the man or woman who is appearing in the mirror. Talk to them as if you were talking with some scared and innocent kid. Talk to them in a way that you wished your parents talked to you. Help guide your reflection towards a healthier, happier and more self-realized place. “I see you and you are doing really well,” is one sentence that I recommend all my clients start saying whenever they catch their reflection in any mirror. Some other effective things to say are: “You are good and you are doing fine.” “It is not your fault.” “Everything will be ok.” “I love that body.” “You can do anything.” “Give yourself a break man.” “Is who you really are this reflection that is staring back at you?” “Is this really what you want to be doing?” “You can do it. Stop being afraid. Live the life that you want to live. Just do it. Before you know it you will be dead so it is best to stop living a life motivated by fear and just start doing what you want to do.” “Those are beautiful breasts.” “That is a wonderful penis.” “Look at you man, you are doing ok in the world.” “Give yourself a break.”
If you just start saying some or all of these things on a daily basis, whenever you see yourself in any mirror, within a matter of months you will notice that you feel like a completely different person. You will have no need for psychologists like me. We will be useless to you since you are now doing for yourself what we do for you (except commenting on your breasts, body and penis). You will not need to swallow that morning take the negative edge off pill. You will no longer be as unconsciously controlled and “normalized” by conformist social expectations. You will feel better about yourself because you will feel like you are making more intelligent use of these mirrors, which are always around and which up until now were a main source of how you continually put yourself down.
Now I must get ready for work. I should not have spent so much time writing and editing this. I presume this essay will only get me in trouble anyways. Oh well, it is the nature of being an honest practitioner in any professional field, which has serious inherent flaws. Today and for the rest of this way too long week, I have to spend my entire days (and early evenings) listening to other people talk about the various problems that afflict their daily and mostly very dull lives. I have to sit there and act as if I am really interested. Do not be fooled, every psychologist is doing just this (and probably thinking about how they cannot wait for that drink or dinner after work). Do you really think they would be as interested in what you are saying if they were not being well paid? I don’t think so. That laugh or that deep stare into your eyes is not because you are a genuine object of interest to them. It is because they are very grateful to be getting paid and they want to keep you coming back for more. I wish I had made better use of mirrors when I was young because now I would not be stuck conforming to this job that I do not even like or think is of any real use. But enough about me. I have probably already said too much. If we could all just learn how to properly use mirrors, I would not have to be subjected to any of this, anymore.