Tuesday 27 October 2015

MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL - Written by Rashmi Arora


The Magic Mirror owned by the Evil Queen in the fairy tale “Snow White and the seven dwarfs”  has been depicted in as a magical mirror which reflects the “truth”.   Every morning, the Evil Queen asks the Magic Mirror "Mirror mirror on the wall, tell me, who is the fairest of all?" The mirror always replies: "My Queen, you are the fairest in the land." The Queen is always pleased with that, because the magic mirror never lies. But, when Snow White reaches the age of seven, she becomes as beautiful as the snow and even more beautiful than the Queen and when the Queen asks her mirror, it responds: "My Queen, you are the fairest here so true. But Snow White is more beautiful than you." This results in the Evil Queen enlisting a huntsman to kill Snow White and a series of events follow which eventually lead to the Queen's own death.

The ‘Magical Mirror’ contains a clear reference to self-love.  The Queen till the time loves herself and realizes self-value, she has no issues. But once the lack of ‘self esteem and self- appreciation’ takesover, her behavior changes and she becomes the evil queen and perceives that the mirror is devaluing her. 

This happens with all of us indeed.  Till the time we are appreciative of self we are fine.  Once we devaluate ourselves or attribute negative or inferior traits to self due to any reason we get caught in a labyrinth of thoughts which affects our health.

According to Freud, self devaluation is a defense mechanism or coping technique to protect ourselves against emotional issues.  The devaluated state requires a lot of adrenalin, this adrenalin surge creates a temporary feeling of power and certainty but it lasts only as long as the arousal lasts. Temporary empowerment by devaluing others or self, then occurs more and more frequently, until it takes over health.

In contrast, when self-value or esteem is high, we can easily disagree with someone without feeling devalued and without devaluing.  One has a balanced and accurate view of self, feels secure and confident, generally has positive relationships with others and is a capable performer. He/she is open to learning and feedback, which can help in acquiring and mastering new skills and are more likely to be happy. Self-esteem affects virtually every facet of life. I wonder if the queen had a high self esteem she would have lead a happy and contended life.