Not all mirrors (or mothers) are evil

Best Qualities of Tay and Val

A couple of weeks ago, we sent out an email asking you to be our mirrors, and share the 3 Best Qualities you see in us.

Like we shared, this was one of the most terrifying things we’ve done in a while.

When Marie Forleo gave us this assignment in BSchool, she told us that this was going to be one of the most empowering exercises we’re gonna do. And she was right.

These are the responses that you’ve submitted to us:
Best Qualities of Tay and Val

Thank you. We are deeply humbled, and extremely grateful.

We want you to know: That whatever you see in us – all these awesome, beautiful, amazing qualities –

You can only see in us, what you too, have within you.

We were going to leave this post at that, but a recent encounter sparked off a deeper and much needed inner dialogue within ourselves – about Mirrors and Mothers and how not all of them are evil – and with Mother’s Day around the corner, we feel called to share it with you.

Last Thursday, we were invited to be panelists as women filmmakers, for an all girls film challenge screening and networking event. At the panel discussion, a high-school girl asked us, “Who or what inspires you?”

Tay answered, “My mum is my inspiration. She showed me where I do not want to be, so that I am constantly reminded of who I am and who I want to become.”

Tay’s Mum’s standard answer to her phone calls are, “When are you going to stop wasting your life to do this charity work? How does it benefit you in the long run?”

For those of you who’ve been to our #DreamsUnlimited LIVE events, you would have heard about how Val’s Mum threw away her art materials to stop her from taking art too seriously.

Yes, we are the daughters who have tricky, messy, sometimes ugly relationships with our Mums – no matter how much and how deeply we love each other.

Yes. It is upon the shoulders of those before us – especially the shoulders of our mothers and grandmothers – that we stand on. That we’re able to stand taller, see further, and go beyond the limitations and boundaries that these women faced in their lifetimes.

Yet. Just like how the Evil Queen gave Snow White an apple and put her to sleep because of what she saw in the mirror – ever so often – it feels like our mothers, who see themselves in these big mirrors (aka their daughters), would rather put us to sleep, than let us awaken our awareness and face reality as our true selves.

Sometimes in the heat of the moment, we want to ask, “Why would you have me live your life, when it’s not a life you had enjoyed at all? Why would you want me to do the very things, that you would rather not have to do in the first place? To be right? To be correct? To be… good?

But your responses, what you saw in us, reminded us:

We can choose what reflections we want to see in each other.

Right before we sat down to write this post, Tay had a painful conversation on the phone with her Mum. A few thousand miles away from home + caustic cautions over the phone – Mothers’ Day season is a hard time for us.

The Universe has the most intricate ways to gift us exactly what we need.

Because as we sat down to write our reply to the Mirror Mirror on the wall post to you, the following exercise came to us. Doing it helped us see the 3 Best Qualities we’d failed to see or were simply unwilling to see.

It’s only 5 simple steps, and we invite you to try it, too:

  1. Close your eyes and take a few cleansing breaths
  2. Think about your Mum – acknowledge any emotions or images that arise, and let them go
  3. When you’re ready, step into the shoes of your Mum, and look at yourself through her eyes – see the 3 Best Qualities she sees in you
  4. Now remembering that you can only see in others, what you too have within you – your Mum could only see those qualities in you because they’re in her, too – see the same 3 qualities in your Mum, see how she’d displayed those same qualities in her life, too
  5. Give your heartfelt gratitude to Mum and open your eyes when you feel the exercise is complete

Relationships – no matter what kind – takes work. One of our responsibilities to the other party is to be a mirror.

Through this exercise, Tay saw that her Mum sees in her – strength, courage, and freedom – and vice versa; and Val saw that her Mum sees in her – spirit, life-force, and sensitivity – and vice versa.

These realizations freed us to admit:

  1. We are a lot more like our mothers than we believe
  2. The 3 Best Qualities we see in each other, are sometimes the very qualities that drive each other crazy
  3. Sincere gratitude stems from the willingness and audacity to own this: We are the privileged generation who got to live the lives our mothers did not get to live

You have taught us – not all mirrors, or mothers for that matter – are evil. 

For this valuable lesson, for the exercise you’ve inspired to tide us through this difficult season, and for the beauty you’ve chosen to see in us – Thank You.


We lve you,

P.S. If you did try the exercise, please do leave a reply in the comments section below and let us know what were the 3 Best Qualities you saw. It would mean much for us to hear from you.

P.P.S. We think this exercise would work for anyone whose reflection to you warrants a deeper look, too. Try it and let us know, won’t you?

2 Comments on “Not all mirrors (or mothers) are evil”

  1. Kimberly Parker

    YOU… Tay and YOU… Val never cease to amaze and inspire me with your unconditional love, your wide open hearts your honest, humble wisdom and your generous give and give and giving ways of simply BEING yourselves. Thank you for sharing this beautiful exercise with me and what you have both learned. My 3 words for my beloved mother are FEARLESS, BRILLIANT and LOVING.
    Big hugs sisters!

    1. @taynval

      Thank you so much for taking time to do the exercise; and more importantly, for taking heart to share it with us. It’s the courage of women like you, Kimberly – women who are mothers AND daughters, too – that encourage us. Much love to you and the family (and your mum, too!) {{Hugs}}

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