The realization that relationships are basically mirrors is the key to healing any and every relationship¾with ourselves, with others, with nature and with the universe. We are all inter- connected. What we think, feel and do affects everything around us.

This may be easier to accept as a general concept than as a truth about a particular relationship, especially an intimate one. The blame game has forever been a favorite couples' sport. "If only he would do that," we protest, or "if only she would be more like that." It is always the other person that needs to change. Yet just as mirrors in everyday life reflect what we cannot see, our partners reflect back to us aspects of ourselves that we do not see otherwise. It is a not easy to consider that the traits that irritate us in our partners are reflections of ourselves.

The role of the mirror in everyday life is to tell us how we look¾ is our hair tidy, does this clothing look good on us, are our pimples or wrinkles showing, and so on. When we see something we do not like, we try to fix it. We do not blame the mirror for what it is reflecting back to us, nor do we try to correct it in the mirror. Yet when we see something we do not like in another person, we forget that they, too, are a mirror, and begin trying to fix in the other what needs fixing in ourselves.

When we understand that our partner's behavior is a reflection or our own, it becomes easier to sort out what is his and what is hers. Close relationships are like mine fields; we never know when an innocent remark or incident will trigger a reactive explosion. We each carry imprints from the past within us, memories of how our family or friends responded to us, reactions to past trauma. When one of these memories is triggered, we react the way we did in the past. We may even say "you sound just like my mother" or "stop treating my like a child" and blame our partner for what is essentially our own childhood memory. This is OUR minefield, not something our partner is doing to us.

Knowing ourselves is essential to good relationships, and relationships, being mirrors, help us to know ourselves.

To see past the distortions of all the mirrors that reflect our reality requires discernment, and discernment requires quiet. Quiet is hard to come in a world in which there is constant noise from traffic, refrigerators and microwaves, television sets, computers, cell phones, and radios. Yet it is in the quiet that we can come to know ourselves. It is only through awareness of the flow of our own psyche that we can discern what is true in our relationships, and create healthy ones.

 

         

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