Mirror, mirror . . . Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 12:24
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I’ve come to the conclusion that Christmas is all about relationships. In fact, that the entire holiday season sort of acts as a magnifying glass held up to the way you interact with your nearest and not-always-so-dearest.

If you think in the Martha Beck sense of the-way-you-do-anything-is-the-way-you-do-everything, you’ll probably see your family festive rituals in a new light this year.

What Teri Uktena calls ‘relationship dysmorphia’ is never as clear as during Christmas time. She says that most people understand the word ‘dysmorphia’ in connection with body image. It refers to the fun house mirror that distorts the way you appear. So, dysmorphia is the inability to see the reality of the physical situation.

Teri says that in this exact same way relationship dysmorphia is when people cannot see what is really going on between them and their loved ones. Sometimes they can’t see themselves clearly, other times they can’t see their partner clearly, but the most important thing they’re not seeing clearly is the relationship between them.

This kind of dysmorphia apparrently only affects insiders – it is way easier for anyone outside the situation to pick up on it, although only the very brave might actually say what they’re seeing. Maybe it’s time to invite such a brave stranger to each and every Christmas table! Or not.

Teri says that relationship dysmorphia stems from the overvalued notion of what a relationship is supposed to give to a person and what it allows them to become. We’re all looking for someone who will see us for who we truly are. We seek a beloved who will look past our faults and hone in on our true nature.

We say that what we are looking for is someone who reflects our values and interests. Almost like a mirror would. Then we find that the person who irritates us most or always gets it right to push our buttons is so often a reflection of our own unconscious issues.

In this way, Teri says, we keep reaching out to the other, who wears a mirror instead of a face, but we keep turning our own heads aside so that we won’t see our own reflection. We’re trying to make a sincere connection, while avoiding this contact in the same motion. It’s a convoluted dance we perform with others and makes for a truly bizarre way of celebrating the season of giving.

And you know the saying, the more you give . . . Mike Dooley says whether it’s praise, criticism, money, time, space, power, punishment, sorrow, laughter, care, pain or pleasure . . . the more you give, the more you will receive. More so than ever under a Christmas tree.

It’s actually just love that doesn’t work like that. Neale Donald Walsch says that you cannot give love in order to get it. “Doing that is as much as saying you do not now have it. And that statement will, of course, be your reality. No, you must give love because you have it to give. In this will you experience your own possession of it.”

Neale says that if you think that love is what you want, you will go searching for it all over the place. If you think love is what you are, you will go sharing it all over the place. “Of course, you already know that life is not about what comes to you, but what comes through you.”

What is going to come through you this Christmas, girlfriend? If not love, you still don’t have to panic. The 71-year-old poet Mary Oliver writes: “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

And talking about darkness, the 13th century Persian poet Rumi wrote that the wound is the place where the light enters you. Let’s give him the final word on gift-giving:
“You have no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring you. Nothing seemed right. What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the ocean? Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient. It’s no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these. So I’ve brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember me.”



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