I had this pattern in my past relationships. I’d get upset or mad at them for my reactions.
Every time I wished the person I was in a relationship with would give me the love, support, attention or validation I wanted, my neediness humbled me. I have often felt my opportunity in this lifetime was to learn about relationships, how to create an intimate bond, and that’s why I feel relationships are so important for inner-growth.
Usually when we’re angry, we’re blaming someone else or something external for our upset. It’s important to become aware of what we’re putting on someone else and examine how we’re giving them power over our emotions.
Any anger, reactions or complaints are our responsibility, not the person who triggers us.
Our inner-experience projects like a movie projector onto a screen. That movie is our creation. We produce, direct and star in how we view our life and our relationships.
Everything we think, see and feel comes from within us and what we see in another person reflects back to us so we can see ourselves.
Freud called this projection and it’s an important psychological principle to understand.
Our interactions with the people we encounter are the greatest ways to see what is unresolved within us.
Our relationships are our greatest teachers because they mirror what is hidden in our unconscious. If we understand this principle and how it works, our relationships can be transformed.
The easiest way to understand the concept of projection is in the realm of romantic love but it can be applied to all relationships.
Most relationships begin with romance, passion, and excitement. Then one day the “fairy dust” wears off and we wake up, wondering who the person really is.
This is because at first, we had a positive projection on them and thus our experience was positive. We want them to be who we want them to be in our idealization of the relationship.
At some point or another, every relationship moves out of fantasy into reality because something occurs that our inner-judge deems as threatening, uncomfortable or disappointing.
The person is not whom we thought he or she was, so now we get the opportunity to see what’s really in front of us.
Our opportunity is to use our reactions to that realization to see what is ready to be healed inside of us in order to take ourselves to the next level and the relationship, too.
There’s a reason why the mirror is there so that we can learn about what’s unresolved within us.
Every relationship, not just romantic ones, are here to show us a part of ourselves that is ready to be seen and healed from our past.
Once we realize we are projecting and take ownership for our projections, our movie changes and we better all the relationships we engage with—including our relationship with ourselves.
The bottom line is that, if you’re triggered, there’s something here for you to learn about yourself in order to change your circumstances.
When triggered by someone you’re in relationship with, identify the upset, and then look into the mirror.
Ask, is there:
- A part of me that’s like that?
- A way I act like that?
- A way I feel like that?
- A way I treat myself like that?
- A way I’ve treated someone else like that?
- A way I’m judging myself like I feel judged?
- A way I’m judging them or someone else in the same way?
The mirror of relationships teaches us how to be our best self, living more peacefully.
Coming to understand our reactions and using them as our teaching practice makes difficult, threatening situations much easier.
We learn to become an observer so that we can catch ourselves quicker in the act. Our negative reactions may never go away but with awareness we can begin to make changes and course correct more quickly. Self-awareness with kindness is the primary key to our greatest reconciliation.
May you have the intimacy you truly want!