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  • Michaela Patel


Have you ever found yourself thinking 'I can't recognise him or her no more'?

It is an awakening. Usually a rude one. It typically happens at times of conflict few months into a relationship, or after it has long ended. Sometimes years post break-up one cannot but wonder 'HOW WAS I SO BLIND?'

Some call it the honeymoon period being over or that the rose-tinted glasses have dropped. It happened to me personally many times. Even though I understood that this PATTERN is trying to teach me something, for a long time I couldn't work out what exactly. Although an intuitive person, I do like to understand things logically too. I have to get things on a spiritual (soul) level as much as on logical (mind) level. I have to grasp teachings in depth in order to LEARN from them to succesfully move on. I tend to write a lot of my realisations, not only to track my learning progress but mainly because when I write I find myself deeply immersed in an altered state of consciousness - a bottomless well of creativity, inspiration and wisdom, not always accessible whilst in my alert state. It was from this space I understood a lot about why I was behaving the way I was, what were my beliefs about myself and my partners. It came to me that I idealised all my partners - every single one of them. What a realisation that was! Such a breakthrough for me at the time that I haven't even thought about asking myself THE most important question: WHY DID I DO THAT?

I was in awe that I was making my partners into people they were not. I came to a shocking conclusion that I have never truly loved THEM but the IDEA of them. I loved the image, the illusion of them I created in my head that I craved...

It took some time for me to understand the implications of having a relationship with an imaginary person. When I finally did, I was no longer surpriced nor disappointed with my ex partners. When I started searching for the reasons behind my PROJECTIONS, I found a surprisingly simple and logic answer. I concluded that only people who DON'T love themselves idealise others. Here is why: We project desirable qualities onto another (idealise) so that we can love him or her. We desperately need someone to look up to, to care for and lovingly attend to. And who wouldn't love the PERFECT lady/man? Which is also why we fall in love with them FAST...

Projecting desireable qualities onto our partners is really a loop allowing us to love ourselves back. This is how it goes: We don't believe we are loveable and the only way to feel loved is to get a confirmation (that we are 'enough') from someone else. This confirmation is called VALIDATION.

The love we feel at the beginning of a relationship is INTENSE! We create the 'perfect partner' and are in love with them - they tell us how wonderful we are (validation) - we feel so good about ourselves, loving them even more, expressing our love and desire back to them - they feel validated/loved and tell us how wonderfull we are - etc...

Idealisation is a form of maladaptation to our (false) belief that there is something wrong with us.

By creating someone we adore and trust, we get a confirmation of the opposite (that we are desired, loveable). This 'confirmation exchange' then creates the perfect foundation for CONDITIONAL LOVE. The loop works just fine (the more confirmation the more love we feel towards them) providing one doesn't starts criticising the other. Conflict inevitably happens at some point, causing us to feel pretty miserable about ourselves due to our poor self-image. As when others critique us we feel rejected and unloved (punished) with the need to punish back by withholding our love.

Poor self-image, due to lack of self-love, leads to one feeling unloved during a disagreement. A person with positive self-image can easily consider any critique objectively without drowning in painful feelings of rejection. Meaning s/he can confidently and fearlessly disagree should the critique be untrue, without taking it too much to heart/personally. Or she admits this to be true, being able to reflect and appropriately apologise.

Do you understand how poor self- image leads to increased risk of conflicts, which are easily taken out of proportion/personally? Do you see how disappointment sets in when the person we adore 'dares' to critique us? Is/was your partner always 'right' refusing to accept any responsibility? (Read about abuse here.)

People aren't good or bad. They are both. They have the POTENTIAL to be one or the other at any given moment. All depending on how much they truly know themselves. Sobering up from an illusion, having realised a fair bit about another, it is empowering to learn a lesson or two about oneself...

Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.

Copyright © 2016 Michaela Patel

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