What Our Most Intimate Relationships Show Us About Ourselves

by Kate Eckman
Good Vibrations Images

We all know that when you look in a mirror, you see your reflection staring back at you. But I think what many of us fail to realize — at least, I did — is our relationships (especially our most intimate ones) are also mirroring us back to ourselves.

This is great news. Our relationships give us opportunities to learn about ourselves on a deeper level and grow tremendously.

How does this work? Well, what we adore and admire in another is also in ourselves, and what triggers us in the relationship are wounds that still need to be healed. I call these wounds our "life assignments."

I’ll give you an example. I recently met a man whom I connected with very quickly and organically on every level. He satisfied me physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

I felt as though I had finally met my match.

However, almost as soon as I felt a strong connection to him, I began to feel a cool distance from him. Fear and insecurities came up for me.

Does he feel the same way? Why is he acting distant?

Why would he say all those things to me, and then not call me to connect or continue to get to know me? Can this really work out?

Am I enough for him? Am I too much for him? What if he stops liking me?

Yikes. It gives me anxiety just to type those words.

In a matter of days, we went from discussions of our future together to silence. What happened? My heart told me he got scared.

I get it. I was scared, too. But, I wanted to run with it and see what happened.

I found his lack of communication hurtful, especially after all the time we had spent together. I felt sad, angry and betrayed.

I knew I needed help and guidance to shift my thoughts and give me a clearer perspective. I prayed for a miracle. But, a miracle is really just a shift in perspective.

Rather than try to change or control my love interest (which never works), I knew I was the person who needed to change. The guidance I received during my 20-minute transcendental meditation was profound.

What came up for me was a deep-seated wound that was being triggered by this man and our unfulfilling relationship.

My assignment from the universe was simple: You have to show up for your wound. By accepting this divine assignment, I was giving myself the permission to heal this wound once and for all.

I thought I had already dealt with this pain, but the gift of this relationship was showing me I still had work to do. I must feel the pain, the discomfort and the sadness.

It’s easy to see why so many of us stay stuck for so long. It isn’t easy, comfortable or pleasant to deeply feel and, in turn, heal these wounds.

But, it is necessary if you want a beautiful, healthy, committed and fulfilling relationship with yourself and your life partner. That’s what I want, so I’m committed to putting in the required work.

I use the following prayers and mantras to keep me on track:

1. I’m willing to show up for this universal assignment.

In other words, face your fears straight on, witness and work through your insecurities and be there for yourself. In this case, this man wasn’t there for me.

Rather than blame him, I saw it as a reflection of the ways I wasn’t there for myself. I had an opportunity to choose to love myself on a deeper, more unconditional level.

2. I’m willing to see this differently.

I see my partner’s behavior as a gift, lesson and opportunity.

This is where prayer, mediation and faith come in for me. I trust that everything is happening for me, so I let it go and let it be.

I’ve learned that when you pray for guidance, it will be given to you.

3. I'm willing to show up for myself.

When you show up, you will be free. What exactly does it mean to show up for yourself?

It means that instead of blaming the other person for not treating you the way you want and deserve to be treated, you choose to acknowledge the ways in which you don’t treat yourself the way you want and deserve to be treated. This is huge.

It may sting a little bit, but it is also incredibly empowering because you recognize that you are in the driver’s seat. You are in total control (if you choose to be).

You don’t have to wait around for someone to act right. You get to choose to act right, both in the present moment and beyond.

That is so liberating to me. What a generous gift to give ourselves.

If this scares you, that’s wonderful. It's a divine opportunity to heal, grow and release all that no longer serves you so you are free to live the life of your dreams.

That isn’t a cheesy quote. That’s the God honest truth.

The next time you're being triggered in any relationship, take a deep breath, step back and ask yourself the following questions:

(Keep in mind all this is happening for you, so whatever comes up, it can be healed.)

1. What am I present to?

Example: I am present to the fact that I am scared.

What am I scared of? Not being enough or being too much for my partner. Not being loved back and rejection.

2. What am I feeling?

Example: My strong feelings for a man make me uncomfortable.

Why? I feel out of control.

I want it to work out, and that’s not fully dependent on me. Scary.

3. What is making me uncomfortable?

Example: Feeling worthy of a healthy, beautiful, loving and fulfilling relationship with a man or life partner.

Why don’t you feel worthy? Because I have been hurt by others in the past.

Remember that past experiences aren’t based on reality.

4. What needs to be healed?

Example: My self-worth or self-esteem.

Why am I not confident? Because past experiences have depleted my self-esteem.

Again, remember that the past does not define your future.

5. What needs to be worked on?

Example: I need to trust myself.

I need to accept, honor, own and embrace that I am worthy of a healthy, beautiful, fulfilling romantic relationship with a man that leads to lifelong commitment.

Once you've sat in your truth or said it aloud to yourself (or a friend, therapist or coach), sit in meditation and be in the presence of those feelings. Allow the feelings to move through you, no matter how uncomfortable or painful they may be.

When you feel those feelings, you heal those feelings. Then, they can be released so they no longer block you from what you desire.

When I'm feeling hurt and need to re-center myself, I say the following prayer:

Help me see this person with love. Help me see my divine assignment.

Exhale, listen and allow your inner guide to show you the lesson.