Motorcycle mirrors play a key role in keeping you safe on the road. Lens shape, cleanliness, fog and rain drops act as filters and distort or obscure the image coming back at you from mirrors.
Mirrors, whether glass or human, deliver messages like any other form of communication. The model is simple. There’s a sender (mirror) and a receiver (you). In between are filters and distortions which interfere with the delivery of the message.
The same thing happens with the reflection coming back to you from other people. If you don’t see the image clearly, or misunderstand what’s coming back, you’ll not learn the lesson.
9 things that distort your perception
- Desire. You want to see something so badly you overlook what’s really there. Like the kitten looking in the mirror and seeing a ferocious lion.
- Cultural upbringing. As soon as you’re born, the training begins. Your parents train you according to the beliefs and norms of their parents. It becomes deeply ingrained in your psyche and a strong filter through which your perceptions pass.
- Opinions of others. Most people mean well. But when you’re asking their advice on interpreting another’s behavior, recognize that their perception comes through their filters and they speak from their perspective.
- Media. Video games, television and movies are entertainment. They are make-believe. Yet it’s so easy to become drawn in by them and insidiously develop an altered perception of reality. Shun violent video games and turn off the TV. Get outside for a hike with a friend instead.
- Repeating patterns. You develop ways of dealing with things without consciously realizing you’re dealing with the same issue, different players. You may keep ending up in unhealthy relationships without seeing your role in it. Acknowledging the pattern is the first step to correcting it. Remember, those partners are your teachers.
- Distractions. Riding down the road you get caught up in the moment. Or you’re so captured by the beauty of the mountain stream, it consumes your attention and you forget to check your mirrors. There is no room for complacency on a motorcycle or in life. Checking the mirrors regularly keeps you alert to hazards.
- Defense mechanisms. You may not like what you see in the behaviors of those around you. You refuse to accept those are aspects of your own behaviors or you rationalize them. Over the years you’ve developed coping mechanisms. Although they protect your ego, they’re not necessarily in the best interest of your personal growth.
- Feeling overwhelmed. You can get caught up in heavy traffic and be so intent on what’s happening ahead of you, you forget to check your mirrors. It’s the same as when you’ve got a lot going on in your life, you forget that those around you are your mirrors and trying to teach you something about yourself.
- Stress. You have a deadline looming at work and that’s all you can focus on. Or you’re recovering from recent physical or emotional trauma. You glance at the mirrors but you really don’t see what they’re telling you. Slow down and breath. Listen to your inner voice and let it guide you.
Objects in mirrors are physically and emotionally closer than they appear. The image coming back to you from other people is accurate. Like beauty, perception is in the eyes of the beholder. You have the power to deal with what mirrors are telling you. How you deal with it is up to you.
- Life Lessons from Motorcycles: 7 Images from Mirrors
- 7 Lessons from Mirrors When Reflecting on Your Past
- 9 Ways to Benefit from Your Reflection