When you open up to the idea that other people mirror issues for you, you are moving from blaming others to recognizing that they provide a learning experience for us.
Does your partner annoy you sometimes, or your sibling, or parent, or parent-in-law? Does your child trigger you? Why is that happening?
“She/he does not respect me!”
Really? Let’s turn this around and let’s see if it is as true to say. “I don’t respect myself” and “I don’t respect her/him.” This relationship might represent a lesson about self-respect and respect in general for us.
“My husband is too laid back. He is lazy.”
Do you ever allow yourself to be “lazy”, to relax and take breaks? Or are you driven to always perform, always have everything perfect and under control? He could be teaching you how do let go more, relax and enjoy your life.
“My four year old is so clingy and needy. She constantly needs attention.”
What is the four year old mirroring for you? Is she perhaps feeling your guilt about not being a good mother, or that you do not enjoy being with her because you feel weighed down by work and life in general? Does this clinginess annoy you so much because you perceive being needy and sensitive as a “fault” you have yourself? Did your own parents try to “fix” you instead of accepting you the way you were? Your child might be mirroring for you that you need to first accept yourself the way you are and then your child. She or he is perfect exactly as they are. When you shift from perceiving her as needing to be fixed to loving and truly accepting her, she will not need to be clingy anymore.
And what about the sulky rebellious teenager?
Is she mirroring for you that you expect teenager to be that way? Is she showing you your shadow sides, the characteristics that you don’t like about yourself and have suppressed? Is she yelling because she senses that you are not comfortable being the boss? Does she feel it is the only way you will listen? What is she mirroring for you about your own issues, doubts and fears?
There are many more questions we could ask, as each relationship is unique. The bottom line of all these questions is that there is a reason why that challenge exists and the mirror people show us is an opportunity to work on ourselves and to grow.