I know what SCARES you.
I know what makes you feel LOVED.
I am GOOD at YOU.
Through that doorway - I also begin to be good at myself.
Self and other are always intertwined.
One way to really learn myself is to learn about you - WELL.
They are CONNECTED.
And knowing how to handle you is the best way.
I'm marrying everyone I ever knew including myself.
What comes up for you as you read those words?
Have you had the experience of feeling your understanding of your intimate partner help you understand yourself more deeply?
Have you really taken in the ways in which you and your partner feel familiar?
The phrase, "YOUR PARTNER IS YOUR MIRROR" has been overkilled these last few years.
But perhaps it's because we've finally discovered an important truth that can help us be more gentle with our partner.
Perhaps we struggle with their mistakes because they remind us of our own mistakes.
Perhaps we struggle when they say no to us because it brings up how our parents couldn't communicate their NO's to us in loving ways.
Perhaps we struggle because when they get too close, it triggers danger in our brains and bodies.
Most couples I work with are much more similar than they are different.
They experience a sense of "HOME-NESS" with one another.
They may have different ways of expressing themselves in the world or different core energies, but they often have a fundamentally similar core.
It's getting them to SEE that that is most challenging in the beginning stages of therapy.
It is what allows them to be more open to each other.
Familiarity is what allows for the depth of healing to be possible.
Science has shown us that our brains go off like fireworks when we meet someone who feels familiar.
Our attraction hormones kick in and we are on the roller coaster once again and faster than we promised ourselves we would go this time around.
Our partners are a strong combination of ourselves, our family members, and others who have played an important role in our lives.
We have a hard time attracting people who are too different.
They will feel alien to us - that level of unfamiliarity can be too much to tolerate.
Choosing our familiar partner can bring up ALLLL the things we haven't dealt with...
...all the feelings that we have NOT learned to manage well in ourselves.
THE GREAT NEWS.
We get to practice getting better with our (WILLING) partner.
This can only work when both partners are really willing to see their own parts in contributing to hurting the relationship.
The next time your partner brings something up in you that is challenging,
I'd like to invite you to recognize it as an opportunity.
An opportunity to see them as more similar to YOU then you'd probably like to admit.
That way you can approach them with less judgment and more openness.
That acknowledgment alone...
...can bridge a much deeper and more powerful understanding.