September 7, 2012

Love is Like a Mirror

Yesterday, on my way home from a business meeting and taking a yoga class, I was listening to "Fresh Air" with Terri Gross.  "Fresh Air" is easily one of my favorite shows on NPR; there is just something about Gross' ability to ask the right questions that makes every show both impressionable and memorable.

In yesterday's program, Gross interviewed Martin Bayne who was forced to enter an assisted living facility due to his debilitating early-onset Parkinson's disease.  Unlike most of his assisted living counterparts who are in their 80's and 90's, Bayne - in his early 50's - "calls himself an observer-advocate and writes about long-term care reform for the elderly" in his blog, as well as nationally-renowned newspapers such as The Washington Post.  The interview covered a vast array of topics including:

But - for me, at least - the most powerful moment in the interview was an obscure one: it was a moment that reflected not on death, and not on the elderly, but on love.  I am paraphrasing substantially here because I cannot find a transcript of the interview online, but when Gross asked Bayne why he cares so much about his community, he answered in roughly the following way:
Because love is like a mirror.  If I can love the brokenness in others.  If I can accept the disintegration of my peers and of my friends, then I can learn to accept the same faults within myself.  I can only love my friends and family as much as I love myself.  No more. And if I have no love for myself, then that will inevitably be reflected in my relationship with everyone else.

I almost cried. 


It's amazing how the truth can find us in the most unexpected of times, when we are most unprepared for its arrival.  And yet, Bayne's words hit me like a ton of bricks and said:

"Are you listening?"
"Don't you get it?!"

And in that moment, I did.


With love you cannot bargain there,
the choice is not yours.
Love is a mirror, 
it reflects only your essence,
if you have the courage to look in its face.


Normal Rockwell paintings are some of my favorites, and this one (entitled "Girl in Mirror") is one of my all time favorites.  This painting has always spoken to me; maybe it's because "something about the way this young girl looks at herself in the mirror rings so can tell she's judging herself," and it's beautiful in a sad, intimate sort of way.

As an interesting tidbit, if you look at the original photograph that Rockwell painted from, there is no magazine.  He added the magazine onto the girl's lap in his painting...and I have to wonder why?

What was his inspiration?
What was he trying to say...if anything?

I have a hard time thinking that he would add the magazine "just because" - without any real meaning or message behind it - but then again, who am I to judge?  Regardless, at the end of yesterday (and into this morning), Bayne's words still echo in my mind:

I can only love my friends and family as much as I love myself.  
No more. 

With that said, I think I have some work to do...

Question of the Day:

What are your thoughts about today's post?  Do YOU think love is like a mirror...or do you think this is just some silly simile?  

Whatever you think, I would love to hear all about it in the "Comment" section below!

Ally and Bo


  1. Some random thoughts: I am drawn to certain scriptures..."For now we see through a mirror dimly, but then we shall see face to face"...God IS Love....All of 1 Corinthians chapter faith hope and love abide, but the greatest of these is Love...
    When He abides in us and we in Him then His love flows through us. Our perceptions are so much clearer then. The devils lies no longer hold any power.
    The perfection is Not in the doing or being or outward physical...But the perfection is in our Loving...What Joy and Peace lies there! and Yes understanding the triviality the devil loves to set our minds upon...
    There is a Deep truth in the words you heard and paraphrased so beautifully! a truth that I find difficult to expound upon.
    Working with the aged and dying is such a priveledge. So often I am witness to the 'disintegration of the body', but the beauty of the soul and even more so the Spirit as it is becoming and Growing Stronger and YES more beautiful!
    2 Cor.12:10 says,"Therefore, I take pleasure in my infirmities & reproaches,in necessities, in persecutions and in distresses for Christ's sake for when I am weak then I am strong".
    Finally I absolutely feel Mr. Rockwell was purposeful about the placement of the magazine. Such a beautiful, poignant and yes sad witness of our culture.
    So Thank-ful For Revelations and His Grace

    1. Than you for these amazing scriptures...I am going to bookmark them in my Bible for sure. Truth comes in so many beautiful forms. I love you.