Lesson 3: Only one person goes crazy at once!
In relationships, romantic especially, it is important that only one person “go crazy” at once. I like to use the term “go crazy” because I think it is true—when we have strong feelings triggered by our childhood issues, we are not rational or technically sane no matter how much we pretend to be and believe what our issues tell us. Even those with the healthiest backgrounds have crazy spots. You may fear abandonment, for instance. If this issue gets triggered you will feel as if your partner is abandoning you and act accordingly.
Unfortunately, when people act out their issues it brings out in others the exact action the person feared. So, in this example you would act in such a way that would distance your partner or make him/her want to abandon you (perhaps through your anger, clinginess, irrational/unfair assessments of him/her, etc).
It helps, however, if each partner in a romantic relationship understands the other’s crazy issues and can therefore not take them as seriously. Instead, give love and compassion to people you care about when they are triggered—and don’t try to reason with someone who is insane in that moment! Crazy issues are meant to pull the other person in and get him/her to act in the expected way (abandon you, in this example). So, it takes great will power to give love instead and not react with your own corresponding crazy issue (feeling misjudged or never good enough might be triggered by someone’s abandonment issues, for instance).
The key is that one person’s crazy feelings and behavior doesn’t trigger the other person’s (which it naturally will without active resistance). If couples learn to avoid this dynamic of going crazy together, they will avoid many fights and actually be able to heal each other’s issues through giving love at the key moments instead of reacting in ways to reinforce their partner’s fears. Remember, too, that you can either be “right or in relationship.” Choose to focus on feelings, and caring for each other’s feelings, instead of fighting about logistics (who’s right, the facts, etc) that often don’t matter (or if they do, discuss them at a less-emotional moment).
Good luck! I wish everyone love for yourself that grows every day and the ability to surrender in this beautiful life journey, including its pains. As you grow in self-love I hope you find greater tolerance for your loved-ones’ tender (or crazy!) areas where they have been hurt in the past and that you can give them the love they need to heal as well.