One of the most important relationship lessons I learned was this: The relationships we have with other people are projections of the relationships we have within ourselves. Our external relationships and our internal relationships are in fact the same relationships. They only seem different because we look at them through different lenses.
Let’s consider why this is true. Where do all your relationships exist? They exist in your thoughts. Your relationship with another person is whatever you imagine it to be. Whether you love someone or hate someone, you’re right. Now the other person may have a completely different relationship to you, but understand that your representation of what someone else thinks of you is also part of your thoughts. So your relationship with someone includes what you think of that person and what you believe s/he thinks of you. You can complicate it further by imagining what the other person thinks you think of him/her, but ultimately those internal representations are all you have.
Even if your relationships exist in some objective reality independent of your thoughts, you never have access to the objective viewpoint. You’re always viewing your relationships through the lens of your own consciousness. The closest you can get to being objective is to imagine being objective, but that is in no way the same thing as true objectivity. That’s because the act of observation requires a conscious observer, which is subjective by its very nature.
At first it might seem troublesome that you can never hope to gain a truly accurate, 100% objective understanding of your relationships. You can never escape the subjective lens of your own consciousness. . That doesn’t stop people from trying, but such attempts are in vain. If you fall into the trap of trying to think of your relationships as objective entities that are external to you, you’ll be using an inescapably inaccurate model of reality. Consequently, the likely outcome is that you’ll frustrate yourself to no end when it comes to human relationships. You’ll make relating to other people a lot harder than it needs to be. Intuitively you may know something is off in your approach to relationships, but you’ll remain stuck until you realize that every relationship you have with another person is really a relationship that exists entirely within yourself.
Fortunately, once you embrace the subjective nature of relationships, you’ll have a much easier time relating to people. It’s easier to get where you want to go when you have an accurate map. The subjective view of relationships implies that you can change or improve your relationships with others by working on the internal relationships within yourself. Furthermore, you can improve your internal relationships, such as your self-esteem, by working on your relationships with others. Ultimately it’s all the same thing.
It can be hard to admit that your complaints about others are really complaints about yourself, but the upside is that your relationship issues reveal where you still need to grow. Consequently, a fantastic way to accelerate your personal growth is to build relationships with others. The more you interact with others, the more you learn about yourself.
I believe the true value of human relationships is that they serve as pointers to unconditional love. According to the subjective model, when you forgive, accept, and love all parts of yourself, you will forgive, accept, and love all other human beings as they are. The more you improve your internal relationships between your thoughts, beliefs, and intentions, the more loving and harmonious your human relationships will become. Hold unconditional love in your consciousness, and you’ll see it reflected in your reality.