ALL RELATIONSHIPS are a MIRROR
I've been reflecting on this (puns!) and seeing that the most important role of a parent is to reflect the child back to him or herself with as little distortion as possible! Yeah, right. Unless you were raised by Jesus, you have a distorted sense of self. And relationships are what we seek out to get a better reflection: one that feels right.
So this is most of our childhoods: parent holds up a mirror which is dented; convex in places, concave in others, and filled with smudges which black out parts of our reflection.
We stand before it, getting not only a distorted sense of who we are, (e.g. you are too messy, too curious, too angry, too happy, etc) and try with all our might to make the reflection look whole and balanced. (I shall be neat all the time, content, never angry, and careful instead of happy, e.g.) Thus is born the
'false self'. We compensate by overdeveloping one area, and repressing or withdrawing other aspects of the self.
When we seek out relationships, we get a combination reflection. How often do we say to a partner, "I don't like who I am when I am with you. I don't like how I feel." Chances are, you chose them partly in answer to your false self, or the compensated self, so as not to rock the boat too much. This is not bad news! Some partners reinforce our distortions (and that's comfortable for awhile) while also challenging us to admit we are not who we insist we are. (Oh wow, I am actually messy, curious, etc.)
A Saturn aspect in a relationship will rub up against what needs to be softened or reduced, while a Jupiter aspect will try to get us to expand. Both of these will be uncomfortable.
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This experience can also be likened to a garment which fits or doesn't. Wearing an ill fitting garment is akin to adhering to a false belief. "Dawn thinks I am too curious." When you exhibit that forbidden aspect (or shadow), the judge comes out: either from yourself, from your projected judge onto your partner (who may not actually think you are too curious), or from the judge in your partner which matches your judge.
Friction gives you a chance to explore whether you like that ill fitting garment or not. "Am I too curious? Do I like being curious? Yes, I am curious, and I like it." Once we have owned this aspect, can we communicate this to our partner? This is growth. We are coming into alignment with who we really are.
Getting back to the fun house mirror...How do you find out who you really are? Well, begin with closing your eyes, internally and externally to the voices which don't feel good. (The false, ill fitting beliefs) Tune into your heart, your body, and your inner child. Learn to HONOR your truth, versus just tolerating it.
You are the most reliable witness to your truth. There is a Buddhist lojong statement which says, "Of the two witnesses, hold to the former." or the first, which is you. Take into consideration what another might offer, but run it by your inner truth meter.
No relationship will mirror you perfectly, because no one has a mirror which is free of distortion. (This is why people find mentors and Gurus: to reflect ourselves CLEARLY, and give us space to deal with the truth we find.)
Begin to know that there is a place inside you which knows what feels distorted, uncomfortable and false. You are the best mirror you have, when you see yourself through the lens of compassion. You are you. And you are an authentic, real person. Begin with acceptance.