In the early days of this journey, there were different people who I would sit with and listen to their stories. Ed was one. He used to say “I have mirrors all over the house. Just so I can look at myself when I walk by. There was a time when other than to shave, I could not”. My thought was “what an egotistical man”.
Actively changing my mental diet, I would say to myself “There is something you are missing here. This man used to be where you where. Ed has not been there in a long time. What could Ed possibly be saying?” The conversations I would have would always come to the conclusion. Ed is full of himself. Saying to myself, “Lefty, you need to figure out what he means. He is happy and content with himself”.
So I would look into my mirror, trying to see what he saw. Sure enough, the only thing I could do was brush my teeth and comb my hair. Any longer was unbearable. There was an overwhelming sense of quilt, that I seen in the mirror.
Then one day, the poem “The Man In The Glass” came across my path. This became a mainstay of my mental diet. If you have never heard this poem, here it is. It will at least make you think, Hopefully it will get you to go to a mirror and look yourself straight in the eye.
If you have made the life changing decision to go to the mirror, take a pencil and tablet with you. Then look into the mirror and gaze into your eyes. Keep looking, as long as you can. Write down what happens. Who’s image came to mind, first, second… Do not edit what you write down. Honesty counts here. What events of your past come to mind.
If nothing comes up. You are where I was. I just could not look at myself. I kept talking to these men and going back to the mirror. Do not give up. Today I can gaze into my eyes without my skin crawling.
The Man In The Glass
Peter “Dale” Winbrow Sr
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in you life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
And think you’re a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.
He’s the fellow to please-never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear to the end.
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
Keep telling yourself. If it happened for them, it can happen for me to.