Turn Back YOUR Clock with Christiane Northrup

The People Who Hurt Us Are Vehicles for Our Growth

Posted by on September 14, 2019 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living with 0 Comments

Image Credit: Tiny Buddha

By Shona Keachie | Tiny Buddha

“You only see in others what you have in yourself.” ~Annette Noontil

I now recognize, after observing painful patterns repeat many times, how things that trigger me are just lessons I need to learn that are often delivered through other people. The more painful the experience, the more I can see (in retrospect) I learned from it.

Every now and then, when I find myself getting sucked into thoughts about the rightness or wrongness of a situation and how much pain it’s causing me, I take a step backward. I can see that people are just the mechanism to my growth, and painful experiences are just big Wrong Way signs redirecting me to my best life.

In his book Scattered Minds, Dr. Gabor Maté wrote, “It is well recognized now that people will form relationships with others exactly at the same level of psychological development and self-acceptance as their own… What we might call the law of equal development holds true even if the people themselves buy into the mythology that one of them is more emotionally mature than the other.”

I love this insight from Dr Maté, especially when he goes on to give a typical example of a married couple with one spouse that appears to be functioning in the world more successfully than the other. When the relationship is examined more closely it can usually be seen that both people have a lot of maturing to do in order to be able to function healthily as individuals rather than in a codependent state.

It’s no coincidence that we form relationships with people who trigger us. We are drawn to people who are, in some way, a match to our own issues, and they both challenge us and help us heal and grow.

As a homeopathic practitioner recently observed, about two differing constitutions often drawn to one another: “One is in their head and has to learn to connect from their heart, the other is in their heart and has to learn to connect from their head.”

But all this holds true whether it’s an intimate relationship or a more distant one; if someone triggers you (positively or negatively) they have something to teach. Michael Kerr puts it simply as “People gravitate toward their emotional mirror images.”

“People tend to sort themselves out by levels of emotional development for many purposes, not just marriage, “ writes Stanley Greenspan, “because those functioning at different levels are practically speaking different languages…. People widely separated developmentally in fact have very little to talk about.”

It can be tough to look at people I have, at one time, literally despised and consider that we were emotional mirror images—for example, a jealous colleague who went out of her way to discredit me on a number of occasions. This doesn’t mean that I am a bully because someone bullied me (although it could mean that for someone else); it means that we both had an equal emotional stake in the same interaction.

In retrospect, I can see that my former colleague triggered pain from my childhood relationship with my mother.

My colleague’s modus operandi was an unfiltered lashing out at anything that stood in her way. Her unprofessional conduct went unchecked and unmanaged because she had been promoted for the short-term results she’d achieved.

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