How many times have we been the mirrors for the projections of others? And how many times have we projected our stuff onto someone else?
These are not the pretty things we like to ponder but there are the gems of some real growth in considering these questions.
When you are told that your issues are about something inside you rather than about the other person, how do you react? Do you first go into disbelief and then justification? ‘What do you mean it’s not about them? They’re being ridiculous, an idiot, unkind, outrageous, ________[fill in the blank]!’ Of course we want it to be about them because it is much easier to consider ourselves to be victims than to own responsibility for what is happening in a relationship.
Let me say here that I am not talking about abuse. This is never acceptable. But when you feel that you are the victim of abuse you must ask yourself what you are to learn and sometimes the answer is that you must remove yourself from the relationship. When you make the abuse about either your own inadequacy, such as creating an excuse for why you might have deserved the treatment you received, or when you make the abuse about the other person and you don’t take action except to get angry or fearful, then you have given away your power to an abusive relationship and you are not owning your opportunity for personal growth.
In every relationship there are many opportunities for growth but we tend to want to romanticize our romantic relationships or make family relationships about what happened in the past. Sometimes in friendships we have expectations that are not realistic or, on the other hand, we excuse behaviors in our friends that we wouldn’t tolerate in our partners. We get our boundaries all mixed up about what is mine and what is theirs.
It is important to examine our relationships for where the healthy boundaries are. Know what is yours and what is the other person’s. Not clear? Then work on this with someone who is not emotionally charged in the relationship so that you can become clear about where the healthy boundaries lie.
Think of every relationship as a mirror that your inner Self is holding up to you so that you can see in that mirror the work that is ‘in your face’ today for you to work on. And then do the work.
Remember that an issue is probably not about you unless it is pointing you in the direction of a lesson to be learned. Honor those lessons by allowing the relationship to be the classroom in the School of Life on Earth and learn the lesson without becoming defensive or retaliatory. Lessons in relationships can help both the individuals to grow. And if you feel that you cannot grow in the relationship, then re-examine your reason for staying there.
Sometimes the healthiest boundaries come from creating great distance.
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