Hello, Dr. Anita Johnston here. I’m here on Maui, the island of Maui, at Ai Pono Maui, which is our residential treatment center. I wanted to share with you a really inspiring talk that we had today in our group.

I talk a lot about a type of communication, Assertiveness, and how important that is to the process of recovery — how important it is in order to really being free from struggles with food and fat. And eating. And all of that.

But there’s another piece that goes hand and glove with the assertive formula, the assertive form of communicating, and that’s the mirror.

And once you start to get the handle of assertive communication sooner or later you’re going to come up against the mirror. The mirror is this: Whenever we feel a strong emotional charge, that’s when we know the mirror is operating. Now, if it’s a strong positive charge — like when you fall in love — all those qualities that you see in the other person that are so attractive, are actually qualities within yourself that maybe you haven’t ever really identified or acknowledged, or appreciated, or cultivated or developed.

When it is mutual, when the love is mutual, you get a double mirror effect. So, not only do you get to see in the other person all those positive qualities that you have yet to develop, but you also get to see through their eyes, the positive qualities that you already have developed. That’s what’s happening when you have a positive emotional charge.

That’s what it looks like in the mirror.

Now, when there’s a strong negative charge, what’s going on is that person is reflecting back to you aspects of yourself, […]