The Reflection of the Heart

In the first book of the Harry Potter series, Harry stumbles upon an enchanted mirror, the "Mirror of Erised". This mirror allows Harry to peer not only at his reflection, but at the deepest desires of his heart. Incredulous, he stares at his reflection, which is surrounded by images of his parents and family. The deepest desire of his heart was not riches or power, it was simply to be surrounded by love and acceptance. After his first experience with the mirror, Harry is determined to return, he has been given a piece of what his heart desires, and his mind cannot consider anything else.

As he sits transfixed by the images of the mirror, Dumbledore's (the school headmaster) voice startles him out of his trance. Dumbledore explains the mirror to him and also explains that it will be moved the next day, to Harry's dismay, the wise headmaster tells Harry to not consider searching for the mirror. "Men have wasted away before it, not knowing if what they have seen is real, or even possible." , Dumbledore explains. It was not doing Harry any good to stare at something that he could not even be sure was real or even possible. Realistically, Harry would never see his parents again but that did not mean that he would never have a family. The inner ache of loneliness felt momentarily quenched by the hit of the mirror, but it would eventually be his demise if he were allowed to stay, staring at his reflection. 

This small, but powerful part of the book impacted me and got me thinking about my own life. Where are the Mirrors of Erised in my heart and my journey? Are there places where I go to gaze at what may not even be real or possible? Unfortunately websites like Pinterest (and other spaces on the interwebs) are often one of those "mirrors". Ridiculous DIY projects, endless recipes, and sneakily discouraging "fitspo" (fitness inspiration) litter my feed. While I do enjoy the creativity and inspiration present on Pinterest, I think there is a point where one must peel themselves away from the pinning and actually do the things and experience (in real life) what they are inspired by. It is easy to gaze at the possibility, but the follow through is a necessary piece on the way to achievement. 

So how do we do this? How do we realistically look at our desires and focus more on achievements versus day dreams? Harry was not able to remove himself from the presence of the mirror, he needed the wisdom and help from Dumbledore to help him on his way to healing. 

Keep and search for those people in your life who will help you on your way to achieving what you desire. What is realistic and possible for your life may deviate from what you envision and sometimes the best way to figure this out is by talking to people around you who know you best. We are often biased towards our own desires (duh), therefore it is necessary to get input from those wizened allies around us who are determined to see good things happen for us. 

Happy Monday, friends! 


Amy ShenkComment