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I AM A Reflection Of My Reflexes

I have been obsessively watching a movie every night before I go to bed for several weeks, maybe months and confused as to why. That movie is The Photograph, labeled as a drama, but really a love story. At first I was just watching it for my enjoyment, I loved the story and the characters. Eventually that enjoyment became a routine every night...I started asking myself, "why the hell am I watching this movie so much?" I felt a need...a calling to watch this what am I being told? What's the message I'm missing? I thought I was just in love with the love and chemistry in the movie.

Without giving a full synopsis of the movie...The Photograph is about a photograph that brings 1 couple (Mae & Michael) together present day and holds the memory of another couple (Christina & Isaac) from the past.

Here's the formal summary of The Photograph:

A series of intertwining love stories set in the past and in the present.

  • When famed photographer Christina Eames dies unexpectedly, she leaves her estranged daughter, Mae, hurt, angry and full of questions. When Mae finds a photograph tucked away in a safe-deposit box, she soon finds herself delving into her mother's early life - an investigation that leads to an unexpected romance with a rising journalist.

Now let's get into the words Reflection & Reflex...These 2 words have definitions that are relevant to this movie and the message I received.


  • a thing that is a consequence of or arises from something else.

  • serious thought or consideration

  • an idea about something, especially one that is written down or expressed.


  • an action that is performed as a response to a stimulus and without conscious thought.

  • a thing which is determined by and reproduces the essential features or qualities of something else.

The one thing I noticed from the beginning was that The Photograph was filled with Reflection, that affected and effected the characters in the movie. Starting with the actual photograph of Christina being a reflection of a time in her life and her relationship with Isaac. Reflection in the letter Christina wrote and left her daughter Mae which describe who she was and why. Reflection from Mae about her relationship with her mother Christina and now Reflection of understanding another side of her from the letter. Lastly, Reflection on how her childhood & relationship with her mom affects her other relationships.

Now for Isaac and Michael...Isaac and Michael met because Michael was writing an article about him, but that photograph being discovered by Michael became a Reflection for Isaac on what went wrong and what he wish he would've done in his relationship with Christina. Because of that Reflection, Michael met Mae and Michael found himself Reflecting on who he was in a previous relationship and how his actions could affect a new relationship with Mae.

Naturally noticing all the moments of Reflection was easy for me...we all have moments of Reflection in life. It's funny though how long it took me to notice the Reflexes from the characters, but once I looked up the definition, it all made sense. Reflexes are natural, but they really are 'without conscious thought'. We only think of Reflexes in the physical sense of blocking and dodging something, but Reflexes are apart of our mental and emotional states of being as well.

Throughout The Photograph and in our personal lives when it comes to relationships with ourselves and others, those Reflections tell the stories of our Reflexes...Decisions & Consequences...What brought us to make the decisions we make?

Fear, Trauma, Rejection, Abandonment, Emotional and/or Physical neglect, Lack of love and/or Affection, etc...Are we learning from the consequences? Whether it's our story or another's Reflection.

Our Reflexes are so unconscious they seem necessary to protect us throughout our lives, but we may never realize that it's learned behavior...A cycle of negative and toxic behaviors shielding us from being ourselves and open to life, open to love, open to what we need. Mental and emotional Reflexes just Reflect our pain...a defense mechanism learned from the first relationships we ever have...our parents/caregivers.

Before therapy, I always Reflected on my life, but never really understood where my emotional and mental Reflexes came from...not even realizing they were Reflexes. While in therapy, I started to learn what my Reflexes were and the things that stimulated or triggered them. We are all a Reflection of the things that did and didn't happen to and/or for us. Those things became the foundation of our emotional and mental Reflexes.

Are we learning what our Reflexes are? Taking accountability of our Reflexes? Dropping our Reflexes? Or are we just unconsciously going throughout life with our Reflexes and Reflecting on the consequences later??? When it's too late...

Derek Silver



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