As adults, other people’s character traits trigger us in intimate relationships Take a closer look at the characteristics that precipitate our mean-spirited response with those closest to us. Meanwhile, in other settings, we display a loving, conscious, and empathetic pattern. We respond to triggers with the traits that we most need. Defense responses develop in childhood creating a sense of safety. Adaptive behaviors are need when we are unable to feel whole. When we have lost parts of our selves, we ca not feel whole. Responses to triggers resurface in our most intimate relationships in our adult lives. The adaptations employed as a child were brilliant, they kept us safe. This is not the case in adulthood.
Familiar Childhood Patterns
Imago Relationship Therapy theorizes that people attract others who unconsciously reflect familiar childhood patterns. When we are consciously attuned, we address the messages we were given growing up. The childhood messages such as: “you can do anything,” or “You don’t have don’t need anyone.” Other messages like, “get an excellent education,” and “be self-sufficient” learned as a child carry into adult life. Having learned self-sufficiency, you chose a partner who projects as needing you. In your mind, you do not need anyone. You can do it all by yourself. That message needs to work through as an adult.
Understand your work, unpack childhood messages, and notice how your character structures affect others. And then, character structures become lost parts of our original self. Reclaiming your lost part means you can relax and let others help you, or ask for support. You don’t always want to be all and do all. Likely you have a deep desire for caring support. Taking responsibility for your lost part is the path to greater aliveness. Moreover, reclaim your lost functions to live your fullest life.
Mining the Gold
First, we invite denied parts to step forward. Denied parts work hand in hand with our lost parts. Second we look at the gold in the lost parts. Missing parts are a barrier preventing us from experiencing and expressing our aliveness. These are traits we reject. If we use the same example as above, the person who doesn’t need anyone attracts a person who may be needy. When this happens to you it may trigger childhood messages, feeling and responses. The GOLD is understanding what might be good about needing someone or asking for support. Seeing the GOLD is less frustrating when you have an opportunity for a corrective emotional experience by accepting others support. The GOLD is letting go of the perception that everything is ok when deep inside, you are broken down, busted, and disgusted.
When you discover the GOLD in traits that others display, new awareness and aliveness enter your world. You can identify changes you need to make to continue to consciously develop into your full being. Life gets so much better when we know who we are.
Unpacking lost and denied traits is challenging. Go slowly as you continue encountering the new and reclaimed you. Then, you befriend your missing parts. The disowned parts are often parts that we admire others. There is something worth admiring in others who can find good in everything. We hide our disowned parts because it protects you from threatening feelings. Containing these disowned traits requires a lot of energy. When do these disowned parts prove beneficial for you? What can you do to reclaim the hidden disowned part of you? You have the answer. Be intentional about reclaiming your magnificence.
You are worth it!
Be forgiving! Open your heart to the possibilities that reside in you. You are invited to step up and own the process of becoming the new and improved you. You are worth it!