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Who You Are…in Relationships

In my last post, I talked about peeling back the layers of your personality to discover more about yourself. The purpose behind this is to help you accept both the positive and negative aspects of your unique personality. Often it is only when we become consciously aware of certain aspects of our lives can we begin to heal or change it to something better.

The goal in all of this is to learn to take responsibility for your life. The way most people think they will feel better about their lives is to get other people to change what they are doing or being. This has been called “the long path” because even if you get someone else to change, if you do not change what is happening within you, you will simply attract a different person in your life to reflect back to you that which YOU need to heal.

If your focus stays on what other people need to change, it will take far longer to change it because you are not addressing the true root cause. Our outside world is a reflection of our inner world.

The most basic rule to follow is…If YOU feel it, it’s yours. It’s about you. If they feel it, it’s about them.

As our closest relationships are typically enmeshed, it may be difficult to know what is ours and what is theirs. One of my coaches taught me an exercise to exemplify this by clasping my hands together as shown in the picture above. Then squeeze tighter and tighter until you can’t feel exactly which finger goes to which hand.

This is a great analogy for what happens in our personal relationships when we have difficulty determining what exactly are our feelings and what belongs to someone else. This is an example of overconnectedness and is actually an unhealthy level of connection.

If you pull your hands apart and keep them close together, it is a better representation of a healthy relationship.

In the movie, Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise utters those famous words…”You complete me.”

Because more people grew up in dysfunctional families, most of us developed what can be called “magical beliefs.” This is rooted in our culture through fairy tales of charming princes who rescue us from our lives or actually the more interesting characters were the beautiful princesses.

Through this lens, many of us developed beliefs even as small children in which we looked out at the dysfunction happening in our families and told ourselves that when we grew up, it would be different. We would find the right person and unconsciously, we fell into the trap that Jerry Maguire did in thinking there was someone out there who could “complete” us.

If you tie all of these concepts back to the analogy with the hands when we believe that there is someone else out there who will complete us, we end up overconnecting in relationships because this behavior springs from what is actually an error in our belief system…that somehow, we are incomplete, imperfect, insufficient, etc.

More often than not, this is an unconscious generational belief that has been handed down so far beneath the surface that it may help to think of it more like programming and this basic program has been part of our cultural Operating System for so long that we don’t recognize it even when we see it happening in our daily lives.

This is the deepest core belief I am still working to heal within myself. Fortunately, my wife is a conscious being and can gently remind me when she hears me speak of myself which reflects this self-limiting belief.

When we interact in a healthy way in our relationships, we do so from the perspective that we come together as two complete beings to learn and grow together. We use the relationship consciously to achieve our shared commitment to growth…not consistency.

Therefore, we measure the success of our relationship in things like communication, emotional honesty/vulnerability, compassion and understanding instead of old-world relationship models which might measure relationship success in terms of longevity.

There are certainly times when this aspect and commitment we’ve made is extremely challenging. I won’t say that when we receive feedback that reflects our lack of growth that it is easy to hear.

It isn’t.

The key is to allow the receiver time to process what he/she/they have heard and then come back later to discuss. This is a tool called Responsibility Communication. My wife and I discussed this in one of our YouTube videos last year.

So this is a good time to pull out your journal that you hopefully started with my last post and note what you learned from this one.

Perhaps answer questions like:

1. What magical beliefs did I develop when I was younger that have either played out in past relationships or the one I have today?

2. What relationship patterns that you may have developed in childhood are still playing out in your relationships today? For example, I grew up with parents who demanded perfection and so I still feel like I have to be perfect.

The reason the birth order thing matters that I discussed in the last post is that it’s common for the oldest child to have these tendencies anyway and the more we become aware of these tendencies, we can practice self-acceptance to heal it.

It’s common for the middle or youngest child to not feel heard and may have developed a core inner belief of “I’m not heard unless I yell or get upset.” This also plays out in relationships until healed or transformed into a different perspective.

3. If you watched the video on Listening and Validation, what did you learn?

4. How can you apply what you’ve learned and practice it in your own relationships?

Again, if you have any questions, feel free to DM me or contact me through my website.



© 2023. All rights reserved.

Jeff Scholl is a Certified Spiritual Life Coach through Holistic Learning Centers and a Board-Certified Holistic Health Practitioner through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.


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