“I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.”
- Jane Austen
In my LOVE issue newsletter in 2021, I stated that relationships are the fastest path to enlightenment and emotional maturity. The more I work with clients, the more I've found this to be true.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines relationships as the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other.
Relationships are confronting, challenging, and revealing. This is why I believe that the litmus test for emotional, mental, and spiritual maturity is how well you show up in relationships. In my experience, it's the mirroring effect of relationships that makes them so confronting.
My mentor always reminds me that 'self cannot see self', therefore I need the mirroring effect of relationships to reflect back to me aspects of myself that are in my blindspots.
Intellectually knowing how to navigate relationships is not enough. We need to experience ourselves in relation to one another. I have found this to be true in my own relationship.
Despite my years of therapy and spiritual practice, I have come undone many times in my relationship. I believe relationships are important as they have the potential to bring out the very best in our nature, as well as the lowest parts of our character.
The most common question my clients ask me is 'why do I keep going out with people who are like my parents?'
In her article, Why We Date People Who Resemble Our Parents, Patrícia Williams, states that the ideas we develop about love stem from how we perceived love when we were growing up. We unconsciously pick up beliefs and attitudes about what love looks like at a very young age.
This unconscious pattern is called imprinting, and it relates to a combination of factors, including how we received (or were deprived of) love, intimacy, and security from our parent(s) or primary caregivers.
We may not have the words to describe exactly what we’re feeling and experiencing, but those memories stay with us and we carry them into adulthood.
According to psychologist and researcher John Gottman, mate attraction and selection suggests that we can become psychologically conditioned to being attracted to a distinct parental personality type, with the accompanying need for love, by the time we’re 18 months old.
In my self-paced program, Relationship Workshop, we look at the same theme by exploring why the same issues show up repeatedly in your intimate relationship or friendship?
We also explore why many of us repeat the mistakes we saw our parents make in their marriage. To break the cycle, join the program here!