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Lions Roar : May 2018
LION’S ROAR | MAY 2018 51 Look in the Empty Mirror Contemplative psychologist KAREN KISSEL WEGELA teaches a practice to help us see difficult people—and ourselves—more clearly. WE HAVE ALL HAD THE EXPERIENCE of dealing with people we find difficult, and none of us wants to be a difficult person ourselves. “Through the Empty Mir- ror” is a contemplation that can help us bring compassion toward those we have a hard time with. It can also soften us so that we are less difficult for others. Many traditions encourage us to walk in another’s shoes or to treat others as we would like to be treated. The “Empty Mirror” gives us a way to practice doing that. In dramatic or subtle ways, the contemplation may touch and open your heart where it has become fixed or frozen. Sometimes it is life changing for people, as it was for one man who had broken off communication with his twin brother. After doing this contempla- tion, he contacted his brother and the two reconnected deeply after more than a decade. Begin by finding a quiet place and sitting down. It’s helpful to follow your breath for a few minutes as a way to calm the mind a bit. Then, think of the person you find difficult. Think of what you know about this per- son: their appearance, how they spend their time, what they care about, what is difficult about them for you. Then, imagine that they are sitting opposite you at eye level. Place How to deal with difficult people (and not be one yourself)