One of the most important relationship lessons I learned was this: The relationships we have with other people are projections of the relationships we have within ourselves. Our external relationships and our internal relationships are in fact the same relationships. They only seem different because we look at them through different lenses.
Let’s consider why this is true. Where do all your relationships exist? They exist in your thoughts. Your relationship with another person is whatever you imagine it to be. Whether you love someone or hate someone, you’re right. Now the other person may have a completely different relationship to you, but understand that your representation of what someone else thinks of you is also part of your thoughts. So your relationship with someone includes what you think of that person and what you believe s/he thinks of you. You can complicate it further by imagining what the other person thinks you think of him/her, but ultimately those internal representations are all you have.
Even if your relationships exist in some objective reality independent of your thoughts, you never have access to the objective viewpoint. You’re always viewing your relationships through the lens of your own consciousness. The closest you can get to being objective is to imagine being objective, but that is in no way the same thing as true objectivity. That’s because the act of observation requires a conscious observer, which is subjective by its very nature.
At first it might seem troublesome that you can never hope to gain a truly accurate, 100% objective understanding of your relationships. You can never escape the subjective lens of your own consciousness. That would be like trying to find the color blue with a red lens permanently taped over your eyes. That doesn’t stop people from trying, but such attempts are in vain. If you fall into the trap of trying to think of your relationships as objective entities that are external to you, you’ll be using an inescapably inaccurate model of reality. Consequently, the likely outcome is that you’ll frustrate yourself to no end when it comes to human relationships. You’ll make relating to other people a lot harder than it needs to be. Intuitively you may know something is off in your approach to relationships, but you’ll remain stuck until you realize that every relationship you have with another person is really a relationship that exists entirely within yourself.
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