I felt compelled to explore this topic the more I noticed both those consciously or unconsciously on a healing journey were viewing parts of themselves as missing, broken or wrong. That their behaviours were something to be ashamed of or judged for and in some way they felt deeply broken.
It’s a fair assumption that all of us at some point have experienced some kind of pain or adversity in their life. Most of these often-traumatic events can happen at a young age when we did not have access to the skills to properly navigate those situations and our mind and body developed coping mechanisms to protect us. These trauma responses become unhelpful as adults and rather prevent us from reaching our full potential within all aspects of life; particularly interpersonal relationships.
When you witness a friend or loved one that you know is struggling with certain parts of their life either as a consequence of past trauma or experience; it is important that we view this person as a whole being. Just like ourselves we have wonderful attributes along with other qualities or behaviours that are not desirable any more to hold healthy quality relationships for us.
What if we viewed others and ourselves as whole people; not broken or missing some fundamental piece; rather an amalgamation of complex experiences.
We may find it easier to accept that there are parts of ourselves that although they may need our attention, they certainly deserve our love as much as the perceived “good qualities.”
We could view the undesirable parts we recognise in others as reminders that they are in some way part of ourselves and we can learn ways to negotiate how these behaviours are manifesting in ourselves as humans we naturally recognise what we find familiar and understand.
It can sometimes be frustrating when we have a friend or loved one come to us with the same behaviour or complains about what they feel is missing in their lives. Perhaps they are playing out a belief or story over and over again to you that you can recognise since you are outside of the belief system and detached from the fundamental emotional triggers there in. It can be easy to fall into a pattern of your own where you may be frustrated that the person is not learning what you can clearly see is ‘fixable’. What story are you telling yourself? What about what is playing out for this person is making me feel this way?
I’m not saying that we should ever put up with bad or toxic behaviour, more so the behaviour will lose its ability to hurt or affect us profoundly once we realise it’s a result of their personal experience and nothing to do with us directly.
When we are in relationship with people if we are viewing them as flawed or wrong the other person feels it. If we feel like our partner, friends and loved ones are viewing us as broken we don’t feel fully accepted by those around us or ourselves perpetuating the idea that we are broken and wrong and therefore will get stuck in cycles of guilt and shame.
Be kind when it comes to viewing others and their personal journey, and to your own.