“I just broke up with someone and the last thing he said to me was, You’ll never find anyone like me again! I’m thinking,
I should hope not! If I don’t want you, why would I want someone like you.” Larry Miller

The dynamics of our relationships are extremely complex. But surprisingly, the clues to understanding the other person usually lie within ourselves.

When we hear the words “ Soul Mates ,” most people conjure up visions of that special someone miraculously and specifically molded and made for them and only them. Someone who understands us as no other person can.  And, like synchronized swimmers, Soul Mates are in tune and in rhythm with one another, navigating through any challenges in their relationship with ease and grace. They fit together like a puzzle. Now I ask you, do you know any couples who fit that description? Uh huh… that’s what I thought.

Cell Mates on the other hand are the polar opposite. Obvious trademarks of the Cell Mate relationship are long periods of deafening silences, open hostility and sarcastic and biting remarks to one another. Not so obvious trademarks are people living entirely separate lives, who have little communication with one another except when absolutely necessary and with self-defeating thoughts like “what’s the use?”  Sounds like a grim life sentence–hence the name “Cell Mates.”

Most relationships fall in between these two extremes. Many people (mostly woman) are scurrying about trying to find solutions to their troubled relationships via marriage counseling, improving their communication, couples journaling, couples retreats and as Dr. Phil would say in his Relationship Rescue book, just more blah, blah, blah.

The Miracle is: It’s All About You

Seriously, it is. I’m of the belief that we attract relationships that mirror our feelings and our perceptions about ourselves. And, our Soul Mate can very well be the person that irritates us the most. Some of you are agreeing (and likely NOT in a relationship) and some of you are groaning (and likely in a relationship).

You might be thinking “My partner doesn’t communicate his/her feelings very well and I feel that I’m a great communicator. How would that be a mirror for me?”  Communication involves speaking and listening. Perhaps you are adept at communicating your feelings, yet you may not be a good listener. Or perhaps, you don’t communicate with or listen to your own inner wisdom. Another example would be the woman who complains that her husband never pays attention to her. The first question would be: who or what isn’t she paying attention to? Her husband? Her body? Her passions? Her inner self?  You get the idea.

The flip side of the mirroring concept is that of course we also serve as mirrors for others, but it is to our benefit to only concern ourselves with our reflection.

The life lessons we need to learn can show up in many different forms and sometimes we have to be a bit of a detective, yet it is well worth the internal investigation. Our relationships are the way they are, because we set them up that way in order to learn more about ourselves. Our relationships mirror what we believe we deserve – not consciously of course, but from a deeper subconscious or unconscious level. To be a little flip, if you are having challenges in any of your relationships, remember the one common denominator in all of them…..You. A disclaimer: Am I suggesting that someone stay in an abusive relationship to learn their “lesson?” Absolutely not.  The dynamics of an abusive relationship are extremely complex. However, what I am suggesting is that in any troubled relationship we take a deeper look at our own beliefs and perceptions.

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anais Nin

Take about 10 minutes of quiet time to ask yourself these thought provoking questions. Although they just scratch the surface of the “projection game,” if you listen carefully to your inner voice and are open to all possibilities, you might awaken to a new awareness of who you believe you are.

  • Think about some of the things that most irritate you about your partner or other people.
  • Can you identify any of those traits within yourself in any area of your life?
  • Do you treat yourself that way?
  • Now, what do you admire most about your partner –or — think of a person you most admire and why.
  • Can you see any similarities that you share?

No one’s happiness needs to be dependent on others. If we are diligent about unmasking our hidden beliefs the rewards are immeasurable. We will gain clarity and power and I guarantee we will see changes in our relationships. Although it’s true, you can’t change another person, when you change your life story, your partner and those around you will respond with new behaviors.