“To fill the void, the child creates a ‘false self,’ a character structure that serves a double purpose: it camouflages those parts of his being that he has repressed and protects him from further injury.” -Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. (developer of Imago Relationship Theory and author of the best-seller GETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT)
IMAGO is about your Relationship Blueprint.
Imago is both a theory about relationship theory and a process of healing partner dialogue. It was developed by Dr. Harville Hendrix, whose landmark book, Getting the Love You Want, has helped millions of people around the world to move through conflict and discover a new relationship with the same partner.
The basic idea behind the work of Dr. Hendrix is as follows. In childhood, we learned how to relate to the world through our parents (or caretakers). We mirrored what we saw in them, integrating their world into our own subconscious minds. However, many of us experienced some level of struggle or frustration from our parents, and as children, we were unprepared to make sense of these problems. How could we? We were too little.
Therefore, we developed subconscious defense mechanisms, behavior patterns, mental constructs, that allowed us to survive the suffering we experienced in childhood. We developed a “false self,” or as we like to refer to it, a “Lower Self.” It was a way of protecting ourselves from the hurt we felt in childhood with our caretakers. However, that persona takes root in our subconscious, sticking around as we grow up into adulthood.
If we remain unconscious about its presence, then our Lower Self shows up in our core relationships. It becomes something of a relational blueprint — as if it is leading us into situations that bring us right back to the struggles of childhood. We wind up with partners whose speech and behavior remind us on a subconscious level of the struggles we faced in childhood with our parents. The little things and the big things they do or say trigger feelings of negativity in us, feelings that remind us that the we’re still feeling abandoned or embarrassed or ignored or disrespected like we were by our parents.
In this way, it’s as we learned to become an impostor in childhood, and that impostor attracted a mate, and that mate failed our expectations just as our parents did, and because this Lower Self impostor is rooted in our subconscious, we will just continue this pattern with our partners again and again.
This dilemma is not our fault. But getting conscious is our responsibility.
When we wake up to this Imago Relational Blueprint, and we realize, “Oh! Of course! That’s why I attracted someone into my life who triggers me!”, then we have taken the first step to consciousness and responsibility over our lives. The next step is to awaken and realize who we really are, who is the innocent, authentic, Higher Self that was lost in childhood.
This is why we do this work. To Discover the Question of our lives and reprogram our minds. And to let the Question lead us on a Solo Travel Journey, where the seed of the Question is planted deeply into our subconscious forever. This process leads to a revolution in our relationships and all areas of our lives. It leads to liberation.
As a Certified Imago Educator who has been helping clients move through relationship dilemmas since 2006, Michael Jason Sherman has merged his expertise about Imago into the programs offered by The Solo Travel Solution.
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KEEP IT MOVING