We all know that when you look in a mirror, you see your reflection staring back at you. But I think what many of us fail to realize (at least I did), is that our relationships, especially our most intimate ones, are also mirroring back to us both our light (qualities we like about ourselves) and shadows (disowned parts of us).
This is great news! Our relationships give us opportunities to learn about ourselves on a deep level and grow tremendously if we choose.
How does this work? Well, what we adore and admire in another is also in us, and what triggers us in the relationship are our wounds that still need to be healed. I call these wounds our life assignments.
I’ll give you an example. I recently met a man who I connected with very quickly and organically on every level. He filled me up—physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. I felt as though I had finally met my match.
However, almost as soon as I felt a strong connection to him, I began to feel a cool distance from him. Fear and insecurities came up for me.
Does he still feel the same way? Why is he acting distant? Am I enough for him? Am I too much for him? What if he stops liking me?
Yikes. It gives me anxiety just to type those words.
“We never get crazy like we do around the people we’re really attracted to. Then we can see our dysfunctions clearly, and when we’re ready, ask God to show us another way.” ~Marianne Williamson
The prayer I use is: Help me see this person with love. Help me see my divine assignment.
Rather than trying to change or control my love interest (which never works), I now know I am the person who needs to change.
When my wound of not feeling good enough in romantic relationships is being triggered, it means it is ready to be healed so I can release all that is blocking me from a loving, fulfilling relationship (with myself and another).
“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” ~Rumi
What does that mean? I have to show up for my wound.
In my case, it meant instead of blaming the other person for not treating me the way I want and deserve to be treated, I chose to acknowledge the ways in which I don’t treat myself the way I want and deserve to be treated. This is huge! At first, it stung a little bit, but I also found it incredibly empowering because I realized I am in the driver’s seat and in total control. Rather than waiting for this man or any partner to love and cherish me, I choose to love and cherish myself in each moment. I’m not saying it is always easy, but choosing to do so is incredibly liberating. What a generous gift to give to ourselves!
In accepting this divine assignment, I am giving myself permission to heal this wound once and for all. I thought I had already dealt with this pain, but the gift of this relationship was showing me I still have work to do. I must feel the pain, feel the discomfort, feel the sadness, and most importantly, I must not allow his closed heart to close mine.
It’s easy to see why so many of us stay stuck for so long—it isn’t easy, comfortable or pleasant to deeply feel and in turn heal these wounds, but it is necessary in order to be in a beautiful, healthy, committed, fulfilling relationship with yourself and a life partner.
I’ve learned that when you pray for guidance, it will be given to you. You have to be willing to show up for yourself. When you show up, you will be free.
As I like to say, “You have to feel it to heal it!”