Why do the people who are closest to us seem to be the ones who also hurt us the most?
In my experience it’s no coincidence. When we understand what relationships offer us, especially in their more painful moments, it opens us up in ways that we would never otherwise discover. In fact, it’s one of the most direct ways of discovering and becoming who you really are – your true self.
Most of us experience the feeling that there is a person inside us who is trying to get out – the real person, or the person we feel we really came here to be. It can be intensely frustrating when you can’t get in touch with that person and leaves many people feeling sad and disappointed in life.
Interestingly when we have problems with our closest relationships we often blame the other person for stopping us from being the person we want to be. We imagine that if only we had a different partner, or they didn’t treat us that way, everything would be fine.
So let’s look a little more deeply at what’s going on. I will give you a couple of examples, because it’s much easier to understand that way.
Suppose you have a partner who criticises you all the time and makes you feel you are never good enough, whatever you do. There is a reason why this is happening to you, and specifically why they are criticising you. It’s because you contain that kind of energy inside you – the energy of criticism and ‘not good enough’.
There are two most likely scenarios here. Either you are also a very critical person, and make other people feel they are not good enough, in a similar way to your partner. More likely is that you treat yourself in a very similar way to how your partner treats you.
Listen to the way you talk to yourself. I am sure you will find a highly critical voice there – and that you never feel good enough for yourself. Your partner is showing you what is going on inside yourself.
We tend to think it is fine to criticise ourselves, but totally unacceptable to criticise other people. Equally we can go out of our way to be kind to everyone else, but then be really hard on ourselves. I have met many people who torment themselves all day long, with their inner conversation. It is no wonder that they are surrounded by hypercritical mothers, partners, children…
The key to understanding this is to realise that we are all one. We are all connected. We are all energy, and therefore connected to everything.
We are vibrating beings who transmit a signal all the time. That signal is more powerful than our words or external appearance. If someone is feeling terrible, it doesn’t matter how positively they speak – everyone can feel the conflict in the vibration.
If you are criticising yourself all the time you are emitting a signal of negativity that affects everyone around you. In fact, much more than that, it means that you will be surrounded by people who criticise you, to show you what your inner energy looks like.
But the beautiful thing about all of this is that something really magical happens when we recognise what’s going on. When you see what that other person is really showing you about yourself, you will experience a profound change.
You will start to feel gratitude to the person who has hurt you so much, as you recognise just how much you have also hurt yourself. You will feel a natural forgiveness that comes from the heart and makes you softer, more open and more loving.
And this will make you feel more alive, more your true self. As your heart opens and you are able to connect with love again, you naturally discover the authentic you, who so often feels trapped inside you.
That trap was not created by the other person’s behaviour towards you. Their behaviour was, in reality, your way out of the trap, if you can see what is really going on.
This is true alchemy – a transmutation of the darkest negativity into the brightest light. Your relationship problems are the key to open you up to your true nature.