A Picture and a Reflection
Does a picture simply serve as a flash image of the past, reserved for the purpose of looking at or showing others; or is it true that your reflection is only good for checking your teeth or fixing your hair? There can be substantial differences between seemingly similar things, and in them there are more than meets the eye. In this case, the differences lie between a reflection and a picture. They are more than just nice to look at.
A reflection and a picture both represent your life in different ways, and seeing them can give you insight to your personal being in a way that goes much deeper than the skin. When you look at your picture or your reflection you will see two different things. These things are your appearance and your character. When you look at your picture, you see yourself as you presented at the time. How you present yourself, in a word, is your appearance. Your appearance is important in regards to how you want to be seen by others.
Your appearance speaks volumes to society’s members, and can often lead to judgment or to praise. Your appearance, as represented by a picture, represents how you choose to present yourself in the eyes of society in an effort to avoid this judgment, or to hear this praise, or simply to conform to standards in order to avoid problems. There is a difference between this and your reflection. When you see your reflection, you see more than anybody else can. You see yourself as you know yourself to be, or your true character.
Your character is relevant to some degree in society, but it is profoundly more pertinent to your personal view. When you see your reflection, you see all of your troubles and all of your pain, you see your strengths, your weaknesses, your thoughts, and your desires. It is things like these -that only you can see- that make up your character. A picture doesn’t tell the full story, and a reflection is often the complete truth and complete telling of somebody. A picture shows you of yourself at a time in the past, and a reflection tells you of yourself at the present. When you see your picture, you see an image of yourself as you once were.
Looking at your picture makes you think of the past, and when you think of the past, you think of memories, of lost bonds, or perhaps repentance you seek to achieve. You think of what happened; of your past victory, your expired happiness. Or you think of your previous defeat, your regret. Pictures and the memories of the past are nice, but they focus on what has gone. Your reflections image reminds you of who you are now.
Looking into a mirror brings to mind you as you are at the moment. In the moment, you think not exclusively of the past, but of the future as well. In thinking and moving towards your future, you are both repenting for your losses in the past, and reinforcing your past successes. Looking at a picture is synonymous with looking at your past, where looking in your reflection is synonymous with looking at the present, and looking ahead. Looking at your past can be nice, and the lessons learned there and the memories made should never be forgotten. However, looking at your reflection, or at the present, is like preparing you for what’s to come, and in success in the future you find your repentance in the past.
It’s in this way that a picture doesn’t say it all. It shows how things were at a time in the past, where your reflection is your guide to the future. When you get your picture taken, you want to look your best; whereas when you first see your reflection in the morning, you see your worst. A picture of yourself shows you acting purposefully in some manner to appear attractive, mentally or physically. In the vast majority of cases, pictures are taken of somebody while they are feeling free to express themselves, and of course nobody is going to feel free to express themselves to others and immortalize themselves in a picture unless they are at their best in some fashion.
This is the illusion of sorts we set up for others to see. Now say you look into a mirror every day in the morning. Whether you had a late night or a bad day, your reflection in that mirror will show no lies. If you’re not looking, feeling, or acting your best, it will not tell you otherwise. It’s in this way that a reflection will show somebody at their lowest, and it’s in this way that you are forced to face the truth, and it’s through facing the truth that you will become stronger as a person. The difference between looking at your picture and looking in the mirror is the same as looking at your best and looking at your worst.
A picture is exemplary of you presenting yourself to others, and so this is naturally where you will present your best. However, looking into a mirror shows you at your absolute lowest, the side nobody really gets to see, and it allows you to confront the weaknesses you see in yourself. Therefore, to look at your picture is to dwell in that past moment, that moment where you set yourself up to look your best, as compared to looking in your reflection, where you are forced to see your weakness, and are show in a way only you can understand a means for improvement. When you look at your picture or at your reflection, you see yourself and your life in two different ways. Seeing your picture reminds you of your presentation of yourself to society, it reminds you of your past, and it reminds you of looking your best.
Looking at your reflection tells a different story; it tells of your personal character, not what you present for others. It tells of you in the moment, prepares you for the future, and repents for your past, instead of dwelling in it. It isn’t afraid to show you at your worst, and in its own way, it will move you to improve yourself in a way nothing else can. Looking at your picture can be nice, but it’s not there for you day in and day out like your reflection is. It’s similar to a friend compared to a family member. Your friend is interesting, exciting, and makes life bright and sunny, but that friend simply can’t be there in the same way your family can be.
Your picture is a glamorous representation of all the good in your life: a moment captured in time. Your reflection is a down to earth, honest entity in your life, and it will always be there. Our reflections most important purpose isn’t to check our teeth or to fix our hair, but to keep our path in life right, and to serve as a reminder to ourselves of who we really are.