Before we were able to see ourselves via the photograph……
To view oneself, there were two clear parts in the act of looking in the mirror.
One, quite simply, is the lookers decision to gaze into the glass, and for that person to place themselves in front of the reflective panel.
The second part, is that the item acting as the reflective surface simply exist in its natural state, unbroken and unblemished, whereby when the person that chose to step in front of it, the mirror would simply perform its function, and provide a image to the reflection seeker.
The image seeker relied on the mirror to provide an accurate reflection; without the device, the individual had only their own perception, or the descriptions of others as an idea of their appearance.
The reflection of oneself, provides a degree of comfort. Whether it is in ones youth, whereby the reflection reaffirms cockiness, confidence, or even gorgeousness. As one ages, our mirror reflects, sadness, nervousness, determination, fortitude, anxiousness, bad hair days, apathy, fastidiousness, grit, perplexedness, and any number of expressions we may experience. Regardless of the image, anyone who looks into the mirror, in whatever mood they so gaze, can be comforted by the optical response that, yes, they do exist.
Were this mirror to shatter, regardless of the mood that was reflected, our sense of reassurance would certainly be distorted. The shards of glass do not reflect an accurate picture, and the image of ourselves is out of focus and warped. We need a whole, complete reflector to accurately send back the image of ourselves, in order to have a sense of reassurance.
We can’t stare into the frame of a mirror. No matter how long we gaze, if there is no reflective surface, we will find no reassurance in the wall behind.
We need the reinforcement, and reassurance, of a full, complete, mirror, to give us confidence, power, and determination.
We trust the feedback from the mirror, until that mirror breaks.