I had a very interesting experience I would like to share with you. This morning, I walked into an exercise class 5 minutes late, grabbed my equipment, and looked for a place to set up. As I scanned the room for an empty spot, I thought, “Oh, weird, it looks like the class is being taught in a circle today.”
The teacher was in front – as usual – facing the class with her back to the large mirror on the wall in the front of the room. Three quarters of the wall on that side is mirrored, with a space on either side that has no view of it. The class was spread out in a horseshoe shape in front of the instructor, with a denser group on the “blind sides.” A few people faced the mirror, but they were practically touching the back wall. Only those with eagle vision could have seen themselves clearly from that far back!
I started to cram myself between people to fit into this odd semi-circle, commenting to the woman next to me, “Oh, a circle today?” She said, “no” but offered no further explanation. Then the instructor and I had a laugh and she made a crack about how there was no one in the expansive space in the center.
I settled my equipment right in the middle of the room – more space to move!
We chatted after class, and I mentioned that I have seen this happen many times before in my group discussions – not the circle thing, but mirror-avoidance . People do not like to be facing the mirror, . . . or, if they must, they will be as far away from it as possible.
The instructor said, “Yeah, I think it’s worse in winter. Everyone is eating more, and they don’t like to see what that looks like in the mirror.”
Hmmm. Interesting, don’t you think? Are you a mirror avoider? I think it is time to make friends with our image. We can modify it somewhat, but acceptance now is important for even initiating that journey.