Natural Idealization of Partners and Teachers

I have been going through a deeply personal process around grieving ex-partners.
It’s not as simple as “I’m opening my heart again”.
In learning about the stages of development I have come to identify the way that I naively idealized these partners, and that is actually what is being released now.
As children, we need someone to idealize. Our caretakers and perhaps even older siblings are our gods.
And then inevitably, they disappoint us. But that’s not a bad thing, it’s normal.
Disappointment is an opportunity to realize we can take more responsibility for ourselves.
So, this is as nature intended. We idealize, the world falls short, we desire something that doesn’t yet exist, we step into the role of creator and we become the fulfillment of that longing ourselves.
So, if we are able to identify the ways in which we are still clinging to hopes and fantasies which are long expired – we can
Analysis gets a bad wrap. When it’s done correctly (specifically: it is in tune with the speed of the heart) it’s very supportive for unraveling resistance and becoming available to more power.
More adulthood.
As a guide, it’s absolutely normal for clients to idealize you.
In fact, if a guide doesn’t allow a bit of idealization they are cutting short the possibility of their client climbing up to the next level. It is the natural way that our inner child sets new standards.
As a guide, this can only be done “safely” with the most acute humility, knowing that we are NOT in fact whatever ideal they are projecting. Even if it feels “good” to receive that projection, we must plant a stake in the ground about who we are and where we are realistically at.
The most trustworthy thing we can do for a client is to allow them their process without allowing any crossover to confuse us about our process.
Reflections are great, but an honest guide does not acquire their reflections from the people they support.
This crossover of idealization with the truth is called Transference – this is the gap between the truth and the idealization (there are other types of transference also, which I’m not focusing on here).
Partnerships are a form of very intimate life guidance. It is absolutely normal for us to go through a process of idealizing a partner and then having our ideals smashed. The resulting pain is, more often than not, projected onto the partner making “them” the problem. Or projected onto ourselves, making “me” not enough. An unwillingness to face these projections are the cause of most breakups.
But neither projection (onto them or on myself) is true. Without any projection, healthy disappointment is necessary for our setting standards of who we are to become. Trying to force a partner to change is trying to alter the natural developmental process of humanity (it doesn’t work).
People usually change when they catch onto a pattern that has likely been demonstrated for their whole life.
We all recognize the flashy super spiritual mentor archetype. They use all the buzzwords and know how to trigger idealization in potential clients. And clients often buy into this marketing.
Marketing through dependence on idealization can quickly become deeply deceitful. Of course, many guides are also deceiving themselves about where they are currently at in the maturation process. “Dressing up as an adult” is very different from true maturity.
As I share here, I’m not kidding myself. I know what my “hungry ghost” looks like. I know what my own idealization tendencies feel like. I know what my maturity is and I know where I’m not mature. Attempting to project perfection is a slap of disrespect to ourselves.
Keeping this in check and facing these facts compassionately keeps me on track in my process. Pretending or ignoring any of this stuff can deeply confuse a client’s transference process.
It’s not that we need to air all of our dirty laundry, as privacy is also important. Sensitive people can detect the tone of true willingness to grow from every experience. This is all that really matters.
When a client’s heart has had its fill of the idealization, which is desperately needed, it’s time to unravel the transferred projection which has been placed on the guide. Not only does this deepen the relational trust, but this gives the client an explicit opportunity to claim the qualities for themselves which they have transferred onto the guide.
Without true humility, an immature guide will not allow this to happen. They will not allow for any possibility of the client potentially growing beyond them.
I’ll tell you a little secret. On many occasions, I have facilitated processes for people who were more advanced than myself. How is this possible? Because I could see that they just needed someone to idealize in order to move to their next level. And I simply played that role until they realized who they were. And then in some cases, they have even guided me afterward.
When pride and vanity are not ruling our decisions, we open the capacity to grow exponentially. Every move we make is either for or against the naturally vulnerable process.
Thanks for reading, sharing is allowed.
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Joshua Edjida
Lead Storyweaver
Joshua Edjida is a multidimensional artist, experience designer, author, public speaker/comedian, and transformational leadership facilitator. Originally from California, he currently lives in Colorado, and also enjoys traveling in Thailand, Bali, or in Europe.

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