This may be an illusion on my part, but as a therapist I believe that I am often relatively accurate at understanding, and assessing communication patterns that are occurring between couples and families. As a relatively objective observer, I often give feedback to to help others improve their ability to communicate more effectively. Hopefully my challenges are gentle, motivated by compassion, and helpful. In my personal life, I do not have that same objectivity. It seems that I am often discovering things about myself that I didn't see or understand before. On one level I understand that this is growth, on another level it is, awakening, painful, and frustrating. I suspect that most of us are frequently deluding ourselves regarding the part we play in our relationships, in our conflicts, and the barriers that are created in our relationships that keep us from experiencing the love, intimacy, and even freedom that we desire. It is so easy to see the other as being defensive, and to notice how they are communicating poorly, but not so easy to see this in ourselves. One of my favorite researchers asked this question, " Why do we choose partners that are so much less mature than we are? Although it was a funny comment, and brought laughter from the audience, there is probably some truth, in that statement for many of us . We often can see that the other is creating, or carrying illusions about themselves, we may see them as perceiving things inaccurately, however, we can't see this in ourselves. To quote a well known couples therapist, "We are incredible creative at hiding our Shit". We are masters at self deception. We are amazingly creative at avoiding accountability for our actions. We can masterfully avoid looking at our own contemptuous. and hurtful behavior. We can even blame other for our hurtful actions, so that we can avoid feeling the pain of seeing our dark side, and our own microviolent, actions. We can blame the other so we can avoid feeling our own guilt. A few days ago I posted a sequence from the 1992 movie, "Hero". Dustin Hoffman is talking to his son about the meaning of life. "People are always talking about truth, (in his New York Accent) like it was toilet paper or something, but their is no truth, there is only bullshit, pardon my vulgarity, layer after layer of it. As you get older you get to pick the layer of bullshit that you prefer, and that is your layer of bullshit, so to speak. He looks at his son who does not seem to understand, and says, maybe you will understand when you get older, you are going to go to college, right! A must see sequence if you have not seen it before. How refreshing it is to be told the truth from those around us, and how refreshing it is to connect with the truth within us. I will repost the video.
Why is it so Difficult to See Ourselves?
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