The notion that a 'good' or 'healthy' relationship is one where we are 'met' by our partners is a fascinating topic, and spans multiple levels of inquiry (somatic, psychological, emotional, and neurobiological). As infants, we come to know who we are through having our experience mirrored back to us. Through consistent and attuned contact to our developing subjectivity, we are able to develop a sense of confidence, integration, and cohesion in our sense of self and unfolding nervous system.
While we carry forward this longing for mirroring into our adult lives, we may discover that it is not actually possible for another to provide this function for us, and the expectation that they do (which is often subtle and unconscious) is quite a burden to place upon them. As long as we are relying on our partners to mirror back to us our essential lovability and self-worth, we will not be able to live as love itself, open to our true nature, fully open to them, love them as subjects in their own right (not merely objects and functions in ours), and to take the risk that radical, transforming intimacy will always require. If we take this dependency to the extreme, of course we then end up in the very sticky territory of codependent dynamics of all sorts, shapes, and sizes.
May we make the revolutionary commitment to offering a true holding environment – for ourselves, our lovers, and our fellow travelers – and above all else to practicing a wild and uncompromising kindness as we walk the path of love together. For it is a radical path that will demand everything from us... and even much more than that. Yet if we allow it, it comes bearing fruit beyond our wildest imagination.