We discover the fullness of who we are in relationship to another person.
Martin Buber says every “I” needs a “thou” to individuate. There are parts of us that don’t come online until they enter into a relationship where their needs, wants, values, and personality can be mirrored.
The well-meaning advice from the 12-step program to “stay out of relationship until you are fully healed?” Or the advice from your local evangelical to “only date Jesus?” This advice may not be helping you step into the fullness of who you are meant to be.
You need flesh and blood people, other nervous systems… to fully individuate and thus—to heal.
Other people are a catalyst that enables you to heal from neurobiological patterns.
Other people help us encounter our shadow and our light, so that we can begin integrating the parts of us we have disowned.
Here’s are some helpful things I’ve learned over the decades…
❣️There is never a perfect time to enter into relationship.
If you are waiting until you are fully healed before you enter into a relationship, that time won’t come. Why? Because it takes relationships TO heal.
❣️All issues are relational issues and those issues can only be healed IN relationship.
Part of your recovery and healing is dependent upon relationships to fully manifest in you. It’s why both church and 12-step programs are created on the foundation of community.
❣️A relationship doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.
Messy, in-the-tension relationships can still help you grow. Relationships are messy because YOU are messy.
Mirroring is such an integral component of individuation it is a biological imperative. We MUST have relationships to individuate
Are there good reasons to not enter into a relationship? Yes. Are there times in your life when relationships make more sense than others? Yes.
But those aside, if you are avoiding relationship containers because you think you aren’t “healthy enough” or “whole enough” you may be sacrificing your own ability to grow.
Cheering you on 💞