Cleaning The Mirror

January has been an amazing month for me.  As I wrote in a recent post titled, Post-Holiday Confessions From A Decorator, I had some really, really heavy-duty stuff to deal with the first couple of weeks of the month – which is why I chose to use the holidays to be still, to be quiet and to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas.  Last week was my “down time” to review and then renew after all the heavy-duty stuff I had experienced had come and gone.  Little did I know that a simple trip to the movies over the weekend would be the proverbial wake-up call for me to listen up and that another big lesson was coming…

Important messages come to me from the oddest places.   Some of the messages are good and some well, suffice it to say, not so good.  Here’s an example of a good one – I remember when I first began my blog I had numerous articles written and ready yet, I still couldn’t find the words for my opening post that in my view would best explain what I meant by my tag line – Everything begins in the home.  I fretted and fretted for weeks trying to come up with just the right words.  Then I attended my niece, Britney’s wedding and voila, the words were said out loud to me.  Funny- I had been searching for the words in my head – little did I know that I would hear them from someone else.  I remember I felt cold chills come over me when the words started from the lips of Reverend Bob McAden.  A voice in my head said, “Listen up Jamie.  Here are the words you have been searching for”.  I listened and boy oh boy, they certainly were the words I needed.  So, once more thank you Rev. McAden for the words you spoke and then allowed me to share in my blog post, The Sacredness Of Home.  They were (and still are) the perfect words to explain and express the importance of HOME.

Anyway, I had another one of those messages this past Saturday and at the oddest place – the movies!  Here I was thinking I would sit back and be entertained.  Oh no, not this time around – this “not so good” message was meant to teach me I still had work to do on myself.

The Man in the Mirror

The movie, Joyful Noise started out normal enough but something came over me when the Michael Jackson song, Man In The Mirror began to be sung by the incredibly gifted singer-actress, Keke Palmer.  I felt goose bumps begin to erupt, I felt the pulsations in my body of recognition that it was time to focus and I felt the overwhelming knowledge that I was supposed to listen up to every single word…

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror

I’m asking him to change his ways…

If you wanna make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and then make the change”

Hearing those words brought me a flashback of this past Christmas Eve.  My David and I spent the entire Christmas Eve day in downtown Chicago.  Being home alone we thought that this would be a fun and different way to spend the day so we rode the train into the city and went exploring.  We walked and walked and walked.  It was cold and windy so we both had on heavy coats, scarves, hats and gloves.  While walking down Rush Street a man approached me and asked for my spare change.  Ever the polite southern woman I answered him, “No thank you”.  After all, I was walking briskly in the cold and would have had to take my gloves off to get to my purse to get to my spare change – way too much time and trouble.  Well, I didn’t think another thing about it until about ten minutes later the man was ahead of us on the street talking to another gentleman.  He turned to me and said, “I want you to know I don’t ask people for money all the time.  I just recently lost my job.  You don’t need to be sorry for not giving me yours”.  I was mortified to say the least.  Had I seen my reflection in the mirrored storefronts I passed, I am sure my cheeks would have been red.  But the real shock came two blocks later when we crossed the street and headed in a different direction.  At the intersection David watched the man continue down the street and then stop to talk to a homeless woman.  David watched him take all the money from his pockets and give it to the woman (clearly someone that needed it more than he did) and then walk away. When David told me this, I was stunned and truly humbled.  Here I was busy on my way (on Christmas Eve no less) and I didn’t take the time to give my money to a down and out man on the street when just a few minutes later he gave what he had to someone less fortunate.  It was all I could do to keep walking and not run for the nearest alleyway to privately shed tears of shame and sorrow.  Would I have liked to see myself in a mirror at that moment in time?   Not hardly!

Cleaning my own mirror

So when Keke Palmer sang the words I realized change (actually more change) needed to begin with me.  I needed to look in the mirror, take a look at myself and make a change.  W.O.W.  Here I was comfortably sitting in the movie theatre, “convalescing” from a grueling few weeks of immense stress with the assumption that I had “prevailed” through all the trials and tribulations of the last five years, wanting to relax and enjoy a hit musical-movie.  Yet somehow I was being reminded of Christmas Eve in downtown Chicago in a not so flattering way.  I could visualize the man on Rush Street in total detail.  I even remember the homeless lady- she was wearing a white coat and carrying all her belongings in a grocery cart.

Hearing the words of this song put so much into perspective for me.  The words brought on a myriad of thoughts to ponder and truth be told – many of which might take years to work through.

  • Everyone has their own vantage point from which they view life.
  • The way we present ourselves to the world must always reflect our true selves.
  • Mirrors reflect our true colors not the black and white we perceive.
  • To inspire change in others we must first change ourselves as thoroughly and effectively as we can.
  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • Love is the most important verb in the English language.

I’m not sure where I am going with all this newfound insight.  I just know that besides carrying small bottles of hand sanitizer with me everywhere I go, I will also carry small bottles of Windex in case I ever lose “clear sight” of the reflection others see of me in my words and actions.  Moving forward I want to “clearly” see my true self in the mirror and at the same time I want to present to my family, my friends, my fellow human beings and my earth home the true reflection of who I am.  And, in each and every moment of each and every day I need to be mindful of the power I have as an individual to inspire change in the world.  Let it begin with me as I clean the mirror.

“And no message could have been any clearer

If you wanna make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and then make the change”

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Jamie Balzer

About Jamie Balzer

Jamie has worked in the field of interior decorating for over 10 years and has owned B&A Interiors, LLC for almost as long. Partnered with her daughter, Sammi Blake, Jamie has been honored to work in homes and businesses across the country. Knowledge and experience is but part of what she has to offer. As a young girl, Jamie intuitively understood that the placement of things, the color of things, and the arrangement of things evoke certain feelings. Working together with this knowledge, experience and intuition Jamie has answered the call to her life’s purpose- teaching the spiritual truth of what she believes- “Everything begins in the home”. As a branch of B&A Interiors, LLC, Living In Perfect Harmony emerged to teach her philosophy. Jamie believes, “if you live peacefully and beautifully at home, you are well, your family is well and that helps to make the world a better place”. Jamie's most passionate role is as a mother and grandmother. Jamie currently lives and works in the Chicago area but also continues her business in Charlotte, NC as both a decorator and a homespace coach. She is certified in Reiki Therapy which she believes broadens her success as a homespace coach. Jamie is available for private consultations, lectures and seminars.

17 thoughts on “Cleaning The Mirror

  1. Jamie,

    You are an amazing writer. Keep up the good work, I am learning so much from you and your blogs, how to be a better person and how to be a better parent. I really enjoyed learning about your traditions and how to create my own traditions. Thank you so much for your blog.

    • Kristin, you have just made my day! Thank you so very much for such warm words of encouragement and kindness. I hope you can find the time to go see the movie, “Joyful Noise” and feel the incredible enthusiasm I did in every single song in the movie. I left the theatre understanding a new depth of which I need to achieve in my approach to living my life. Oh these lessons in life can be difficult, can’t they?

  2. What a wonderful, honest post! You give me much to think about as we start this new year.

    • As I have always been told throughout life ~ honesty is the best policy. “Joyful Noise” made me take a long, hard look at myself and honestly say, “Yep, there’s work to be done here”. By the way Sue, the image for this post is seriously one of my faves you have given me. It takes my breath away. Thank you dear friend for your gift of photography you have so graciously shared with me and all the readers!

  3. Very good…enjoyed the “wake up” call we all need to be a better person.
    Love you, Shell

    • Shell, for once my writing was meant to show what I was taught and not what I want to teach. Humbling for me to say, but very true. Thank you for your wonderfully kind words and I am so glad you liked this post. Keep reading. And ~ love you,too!

  4. What a great reminder to all of us, we should always keep our eyes and ears open, we never know when we may learn something about ourselves. It may come when we least expect it, but need it the most.

    P.S. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I have heard many good reviews from friends!

    • Crystal, you couldn’t be any more correct – when we least expect it we get the best messages. Clearly, (pardon my pun) I needed to see myself in the mirror. Do go see the movie. You won’t be able to sit still. Your feet will start tapping, your body will start swaying and you may even find yourself clapping. It is that upliifting! It is a must see in my book! Thanks for your comments and keep reading…

  5. Once again I am inspired by another one of your articles. Your message is so good. Love you! And I love Susan’s photo. -Bee

  6. Thank you, Bee and Jamie! I’m glad you both like the photo ~ sometimes it’s good to have the camera close by when you look up into the sky. The ring around the moon was just so bright that night!

  7. I do believe that actions speak louder than words and that you can tell what kind of a person is by their actions. Jamie you write so beautifully that it really makes you think deep within ourselves. Thanks

    • Yep, actions are the best indicator of who someone truly is. When I was “too busy walking down Rush Street”, “too cold to remove my gloves on Rush Street, “questioning if this man truly needed my money”,etc., etc., etc. I was showing areas of myself that weren’t so pretty. In truly wanting to live in perfect harmony with my family, friends, mankind and the earth, I need to “think” less and “do” more. After all, my actions are just as important as the next person’s. If each of us acts out of love well, good golly Miss Molly, what a wonderful world this would be. I can only start with myself…

  8. Jamie-I am so glad MA posted this on facebook for me to read. The last few years of my life have been very difficult and challenging and I have had to change and realize that I am NOT in control and need to let those issues go so I can find peace. If you have time, I found this on a recent note card I found, so I framed it and hung it right beside my head in the bathroom; “Surrender yourself to stillness, the truth you seek is already there…Not the stillness is stillness, but stillness in movement is the real stillness.” Blessings to you.

    • Maria, it is so wonderful to hear from you and also to know you read this post. My Blog, though about Home Decor is really about the myriad of ways to make your home the best extension of yourself (your body home that is). So, my Blog has numerous articles on Home Decor , but more importantly I write about what I call “The Psychology of Home”. I fervently believe that everything begins in the home. So, for me it is imperative to have a homespace that exudes peace and harmony – and there are certainly ways to achieve this! As for the recent challenges you have been experiencing, I too have had far more than I would have liked. However, the real growth in me as a spiritual being has come from these difficult times. The challenges for me were like “pieces” in my walk of life and in connecting the pieces and then throwing them to the wind, I found PEACE. PEACE from the pieces if you will. I stand today a person that reclaimed her essence and for this I am grateful. I hope the same for you. And by the way, I love this quote. If you don’t mind I will share it on my Facebook Fanpage with others. (Facebook/livinginperfectharmony) Thank you for writing and I do hope you will keep reading. Live your bliss!

  9. Pingback: Love In Your HOME | Living In Perfect Harmony

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