March 03, 2007
Mirror, mirror on the wall....
When the wicked queen gazed into her mirror and became engraged at the image of Snow White looking back at her, was Disney unknowingly describing how our own egos react when faced with parts of ourselves that we have lost?
Some patterns in our lives become obvious. For me, I've found that I'm often attracted to people with certain characteristics and personality traits -- sometimes that leave me frustrated and wondering why do I keep banging my head against this particular wall?
I've been reading about disowned selves, and the notion that we are attracted to characteristics in other people that represent repressed parts of our own identity. Our multi-faceted ego emphasis parts of our identity (primamry selves) that we want to project into the world, and all those left-over identifiers go underground, deep into our psyche. The ways this plays out in our relationships is a fancy psyshological way of explaining the old adage, "opposites attract."
I think there is a deeply spiritual reason for this phenomenon. To be sure, bonding and having a relationship with someone who mirrors other parts of yourself back to you — and likewise you for them — provides infinite possibilities for growth.
So, how do you know what part of yourselves are "disowned?" Start by asking yourself "Who do I judge? Who drives me up a wall? Who can I not stand?" These people hold valuable keys that can unlock repressed parts of our own psyche. And likewise, what qualities to I admire and overvalue in others? Who do I wish I could be more like? These are key relationships in our lives.
I have found that I am attracted time and again to people that are free-spirited — which manifests itself in a variety of positive and negative personality traits from a wonderful ability to be spontaneous, to the annoying habit of always being late and sometimes, undependable. I have struggled to understand this dynamic in my life, and what I'm to learn (and teach?) those who mirror this for me. Perhaps I mirror my rational mind, my need for control. I feel very anxious when plans are not pinned down. I always prefer things to be ordered rather than spontaneous. I couldn't be late for something if I tried.
Perhaps I need to learn that I will still be loved, even if its not "on the schedule." If I disappoint by tardiness, I will still be acceptable. If I change my mind at the last minute or decide to do something unexpected, that I will not be abandoned or deemed "flakey."