Have you noticed that when two personalities get together, there is some kind of reaction?
If there isn’t, it tends to be more of a surface relationship, like we have with acquaintances. However, it seems that the more intimate we get with one another, the more likelihood there is of a less than ideal chemical reaction. Why is that?
It’s because the very definition of intimacy means that someone has gotten beyond the boundaries of your defense mechanisms. You are open to them, you are vulnerable, you have let them into your inner portal.
And now whatever they do or say has greater impact on you than just surface friends you hang out with. They move you on a deeper level, and this isn’t always comfortable – especially if they have touched on some of your past wounds!
Yet this is exactly why two people are drawn to each other. Nature has a way of putting us together with the people that will best show us where the healing needs to take place. It truly is for our benefit – for our greater health, greater good, and highest purpose.
Of course, NOBODY likes to go through discomfort and pain, no matter how much it improves our life! Humans are actually WIRED to stay in our comfort zones. Our survival mechanism keeps us from wanting to feel that pain or discomfort ever again.
This is the reason we have blind spots – the part of us we don’t want to see or feel – that we keep repressed or “in Shadow”. We formed this Shadow when we first felt the emotional discomfort, and it is a defense mechanism to keep us from feeling it again.
So we walk around largely trying to not feel it, to numb ourselves out in various ways, in order to avoid emotional discomfort. If we don’t look within too deeply, we never have to leave our comfort zones.
But staying in our comfort zone often interferes with getting our higher-order desires, and keeps us from creating the life we say we want, because these blind spots greatly limit our choices, our behavior, and our ability to respond to life effectively.
What happens then, because of our blind spot, is that we tend to project onto the “other” everything that we refuse to see in ourselves, and it looks like they’re the one with all the problems.
If we project all our problems onto our intimate partner, we may come to the conclusion that we simply made a “wrong choice” and move on to choose someone else. Unfortunately, if we haven’t taken the opportunity to heal ourselves, the next person may come in a different package – but ultimately a similar pattern will come to the surface, and we are again presented with our next opportunity to heal.
Sometimes the pattern even becomes more intense, CALLING us to heal it. As the saying goes, there is no way AROUND it, we have to go THROUGH it. Avoidance only gives what we are trying to avoid greater POWER.
So if we have the courage to look at our discomfort, our wounding, our pain, and OWN it, we can grow through this “chemical reaction”. We can seek out the places inside ourselves that feel uncomfortable or hurt, and bring them out of the Shadow to face them – bring them to the Light, where they can be seen, embraced, listened to, healed, released, and integrated.
This is the transformation Carl Jung is talking about in the above quote. And I believe that ultimately, this is the purpose of intimate relationships – whether with family or intimate partners. We allow people to come close to us, bring up our discomfort and pain, so that we may finally release that pain, grow from it, and transform. It is all for our learning.
And please know I am NOT saying you need to stay in a painful situation if a person is not honoring or respecting your needs. Sometimes our growth comes in the form of becoming stronger in setting our boundaries, finding loving words to ask for what we need, and finding the best way to take better care of ourselves. Listening to the message of your emotional wounding, and working with it, will actually give you the solution that is right for you.
Here are 3 questions you can ask yourself the next time someone calls forth a “reaction” inside of you:
- What do I need that I can ask the other person for?
- What do I need that I can give to myself?
- What do I need to give to this situation or to the other person?
And then find a loving way to ask the other, or to give to yourself, or to take action on the situation. It’s all about having greater compassion and heart towards yourself, and also towards the other person who has their own blind spot. Love has the greatest power to move any mountain.
Once you’ve moved through and processed what is before you, you release a lot of energy that was stuck keeping your Shadow in place, and you become a more empowered and therefore a more ATTRACTIVE person.
Eventually you become grateful for the tremendous opportunity you’ve just been given! This is how you KNOW you truly have healed and integrated.
Like a grape exposed to fermentation, this experience will ultimately create the chemical reaction of a fine wine if you know how to tend to it.
And if you need some objective perspective or more help sorting out what’s going on with you, I am here for you. Go ahead and schedule a free 30-minute counseling session with me by clicking on the pop-up to the right, and let’s see if we are a good match for working together!
Otherwise, leave a comment below to let me know what this brought up in you: