Once upon a time and far far away . . . . .

There was a maiden who had forgotten how beautiful she was.  Now at times she could remember, almost.  The images, the feelings, would dance just out of reach and it made her sad.

Sometimes she would forget that she had forgotten and the sadness would leave her for a while.

One day as she was walking in the wood she found a magic mirror.  She could cast her gaze there and see herself reflected back.  The mirror would speak to her using words that she had never known.  And the mirror would show her herself in fine details she had never noticed.

She began to glimpse line and curve and hue which hinted at the glory of the Being beneath the form.

She saw herself through the eyes of the mirror and was lifted up out of the ordinary into the realm of her true self, her true habitation.  And she came again, and again, and again.  How could she not?  There was happiness there.

But one day the girl noticed that the mirror had lost some of its shine.  And as she examined it more closely she noticed small fractures around it edges.  She had not realized that the mirror was so fragile.

Frightened, she wondered what to do.  What would it be like if the mirror faded or was broken.  How could she go on without it?  Could she find another mirror?  At least something shiny enough to occasionally catch a glimpse of the glorious being the mirror told her she was?

She was angry.  She felt tricked and foolish.  She felt weak and exposed in her need.  Why had she looked to start with?  That damned mirror had caused her to want to believe.  It was not her fault it was so feeble.  She tossed it aside and ran.  Angry, hot, desperate tears flowing as a primal wail escaped her throat.

She came to a pool, cool, clear, and still as death.  She thought to wash herself and drink to soothe the bitter dry ache in her throat.  But as she turned toward the pool she caught a glimpse of something in the pool’s reflection.  She was startled and horrified by what she saw there.  She recognized her own shape and face but also there was part of her she did not know.  Wraith-like a specter loomed green red and yellow.  Jealousy, hate, and fear, shone through her eyes and were reflected back to herself.  Greed and callous hunger called and beckoned her to come, to surrender.

She moaned.  She wailed.  Streams of bitter tears flooded.  Grief unknown, yet not altogether strange, saturated her being until the very last of the very last of her was undone.  Silence.  Stillness.  No sound.  No wind.  Only breathing.

She pondered the two visions she had seen of herself.  She remembered their very different power over her.  One was damnation.  The other was Life.  Having glimpsed both sides now she understood that the power of the mirror had always come from her.  And each time the mirror spoke some of its magic was diminished.

In the beginning she had responded with her full self.  The energy of her response gave back to the mirror so that neither were injured.

The mirror would  point out the unique and fine details of her and her heart would soar.  She knew her beauty was real.  She began to believe and trust that the mirror would tell her only the truth.  She had exulted in the glory of her.  Her heart had tentatively began to open and relax.  Her patterns were brighter, hopeful, she could even play a bit now.  Yet sometimes in her living she would need to remember again and would return to gaze there once more.

She was right about her trust in the mirror.  It would always reflect back to her and only the truth.  And after a while the mirror began to reflect details and forms and frightening dark things that she drew back from.

She began to withdraw her self and her energy from the mirror and it was weakened.  It began to fade and soon the small fissures could be seen growing around its edges.

There in the stillness she tried to put the pieces back together.  She was saddened but she was also angered by the demands placed upon her.  All she had wanted was to glimpse her beauty but the darkness kept peering at her around the edges.  And now in that holy place between despair and rage a great wave of grief sprang forth washing over her.  Grief for both all that she had lost, and all that she might have been.  She rode the waves as they washed her weary soul.  She remembered.  She remembered everything.  And as she remembered, compassion was birthed from her grieving heart.  Compassion for herself and compassion for all those who have trod this earth.  And in the doing she found and gave forgiveness and was freed.

After many days, and many beats of her heart she chose.  She picked up the mirror and begin to look there once more.  Only this time she did not giggle and flutter like a school girl when she recognized her singular and most exquisite self.  Moment by moment, heartbeat by heartbeat, she began to respond again to the mirror.  And when the darker places, buried, or hidden were revealed she did not swoon or run away.  She looked longest and deepest at those things now.  And as she did even those things began to take on a sublime radiance that took her breath away.

She began to talk back and reflect to the mirror what she saw and what she was learning. And after a time the mirror was whole again.  By this time she no longer needed the mirror to exist.   She was weaned from her dependence on the reflection.  But she would still come to sit and look and listen and be.

She had begun to know herself and the glory of her shook the very earth.

One day she was walking in the wood and happened upon a young maiden who had forgotten how beautiful she was . . . . .