12 Feb The Mirror of Relationships
By Lauren Chapman
OHHHHH deep intimacy…
The energetic bond within a romantic relationship is like a funhouse mirror, held up by our partners which reflects the unintegrated parts of ourselves. This mirror is an opportunity to discover and collect these distant parts. Unfortunately, we do not always like what we see, so we focus on our partner, saying ugh, if they just stopped doing ____ I wouldn’t feel like _____.
A different approach
I want to invite in a different approach which allows us to see, understand and love more of ourselves.
We all have parts of ourselves which we are proud of and ones we are less proud of. It is natural to be proud of the parts of ourselves which our family, peer group, culture and society have agreed are “good” parts. Leaving the “other” parts, in a shadow area, which we would rather not examine (though that darn relationship mirror finds and continually exposes them). These “other” distant parts can be our, traumas, triggers, emotional sensitivities, insecurities, secretive feelings, behaviors and beliefs, any part which is not, integrated or accepted in our lives but still exist inside us. When we see these parts of ourselves reflected in our relationship, we often call forward our army of emotional defenses to protect us from having the examine the particular piece which is being exposed.
I believe human beings are seeking to feel whole, understood and connected. In order to reach this goal, we must first find the distant pieces, which lead us to feel less whole. Relationships allow us the opportunity to find wholeness. As long as we focus our examination our own reflection in the mirror.
Next time you have an emotional reaction in relation to your partner’s behavior, notice it, pause, walk away. Go express the emotion which arose in you, away from your partner, go write, create, talk, run, meditate, move the energy out of your body. When you find calm, look inward, examine what they touched on which caused the emotional response in you. If you are vulnerable and honest you will find a piece of yourself which maybe needs more compassion, awareness, healing or even just a simple boundary. Ask this piece how you can give that to yourself first, then ask how others can give it to you. Share what you discover with your partner and invite in a shift, where you no longer react because you are aware and your partner is more compassionate to your needs.
Relationships exist to shake us into connection with ourselves, be brave in your approach, dive in with verve and courage, swim in your darkest waters and recollect yourself, piece by piece. Until you feel whole and can be met in your wholeness.