Relationships, whether it be with our partners, parents, coworkers or friends, are mirrors to our unconscious thoughts, characteristics and needs. As a matter of fact, e v e r y o n e is a mirror image of The Self.
They reflect back to us the characteristics we possess within ourselves. They emphasize who and what we are at this very moment.
Cognitive psychology tells us that no one views reality in the exact way. Our worlds are based on our perception.
Sometimes we see the good in others. We lift each other up in our partnerships. We feel good together and bring out the best in each other. Other times, the parts within ourselves that we don’t own, or accept, are projected negatively on to our partners. Or theirs on to us.
E v e r y t h i n g within us comes into play in close relationships.
This includes past traumas, pain, childhood issues of abandonment, entitlement, dependency, anger towards our parents, etc etc. Childhood attachment styles come into play full force…mostly out of our conscious awareness.
Back to the mirroring.
Our reflections may manifest as toxic, unfulfilling relationship patterns or even as undesirable traits we see in others. Sometimes these traits “displease” us to the point where we push people away.
I’ve began questioning WHY certain things bother me. Why I put up with such undesirable situations in my close relationships.
I have noticed that I continually attract significant others that value the superficial. They place value on my appearance more than they value me as a person. I can’t read minds, but I feel the “love” has been shallow and conditional in my past 2 relationships. By nature I’m an emotional person, but I become easily enraged by being neglected, ignored, lied to or by any sort of “competition”. Most of the time these things are quite trivial and amplified in my mind, but I choose to put up with people who continually make me feel this way.
This is just one example of mirroring, but I’ve started to realize that I truly attract what I think about myself. I attract uncommital partners that judge me for my shortcomings.
Because deep down, I truly don’t believe I’m worthy of being in a loving, committed relationship. I am constantly judging myself. I may like the superficial aspects of myself, but do I really value who I am and recognize my worth? .
I hold on to such insubstantial relationships and non-commital partners, because I think they’re what I deserve.
My own behavior is often reflected back towards me in the way I interact with others, especially in more intimate relationships.
According to Attachment Theory, I fall somewhere inbetween having an “anxious-ambivalent” and “disorganized” attachment style. Aka I’m a mess haha. I’m easily hurt, seek validation and yearn for deep connection, yet the more intimate my relationships become, the more I push those people away. These behaviors are l e a r n e d in the early stages of life.
Luckily, attachment styles are not permanent. If there’s a will to change, therapy and a lot of mental work, the way we attach can be transmuted into a more secure style.
I think that becoming aware of your flaws or dysfunctional mental schemas is the first step towards changing them.
Acknowledge, Accept, Change, Grow.
I think self-exploration and transmutation are beautiful things.
I’m the furthest thing from perfect, but I own my shortcomings. I want to be the best version of myself and the more I work towards this, the more (useless) relationships are “removed” from my life.
It’s one thing to own your flaws, it’s another to actively try to change them.
So, to anyone who has helped me recognize the ugly (anger, jealousy, vindictiveness and insecurity) within me: I THANK you.
Although you probably hurt me in order for me to feel those things, you have helped me learn to look in the mirror and start changing, loving and valuing myself.