Ep.7 Use your relationships to grow your self-love.

Tamra MerciecaPodcast2 Comments

For a long time relationships confused and baffled me, upset and hurt me, left me and abandoned me… and then one day… I learnt what I’m going to share with you today.

The following teaching is what completely transformed my experience with relationships. My relationship as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, as a friend and as a colleague.

I now live in beautiful harmony with my gorgeous husband and cute-as-pie son, and help people cultivate healthy relationships with the people around them.

This episode on I Love Me The Podcast, is my gift to you. A gift that has the power to completely and totally awaken you, change your life, and deepen your experience of being you.

Now I need to highlight one thing up front…

Being in relationship with other people is a necessary part of being human.

We need that connection.

But what if your relationships with others are more harmful than good?

What if when we spend time with certain people, we leave those meetings feeling ‘less than’, not good enough, drained, hurt, walked all over, belittled, or even bullied.

What do we do?

We can blame that person for how they treated us.

We can make up stories in our mind about how horrible this person is.

We can get angry, frustrated or upset.

They’re certainly options.

Not very empowering options, but options none-the-less.


We can choose to do something different.

Something radically different.

We can choose to take FULL responsibility for how this person treated us.


‘But Tamra, I wasn’t the one being a dooshbag… They were!’

I know.

But here’s the thing…

How others treat us is a mirror reflection of how we treat ourself.

OK, breathe…

You’re safe.

It’s all ok.

Let me share a passage from the book A Course in Miracles:

‘When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter.

As you see him, you will see yourself.

As you treat him, you will treat yourself.

As you think of him, you will think of yourself.

Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.’

What this passage is saying, is that the world can show us ourself through reflections.

Every interaction we have, every situation we experience, every person that triggers us, is showing us a mirror reflection of our inner world.

The thoughts we think, the behaviours we engage in, the habits we adopt, the ways in which we treat ourselves and others are all shown to us, through the people we interact with.

They are our mirror reflections.

If you have beautiful, kind, caring relationships with other people, this is a sign that you treat yourself and others in the same way.

But if your relationships with others are lacking in some way, maybe even abusive – physically or emotionally abusive – this is a sign that you yourself are acting or behaving in a similar manner.

Maybe not to the same severity.

Or in such an obvious way.

Often the places upon which we need to do the most healing are shown to us in more extreme ways, to get our attention.

But if we truthfully examine our lives, and are willing to look at how we may be acting in a similar way, we bring our own egoic behaviours to light.

And once we have this awareness, then we can begin the healing process.

For change can only happen, once we are aware that there’s a change that needs to happen.

Now, I know there can be immense resistance to this.

Resistance to the very idea that a person’s behaviours are mirror refections of our own behaviours.

You might be saying to yourself:

‘But they’re the one in the wrong!’

And maybe a certain person did do or say something that was completely out of integrity, or downright harmful.

But as long as you hold onto the need to blame the other person, you disempower yourself.

There’s nothing you can do to heal the situation.

You give away your power and are left feeling just plain bad.

Maybe you stew over the interaction for a few hours, days or months.

This person’s behaviour eats away at you, effectively diminishing your quality of life (not to mention your health).

Yet, when we’re willing to consider that maybe, just maybe, we had something to do with that awful (shitty) encounter, then you take the power back.

We put yourself in a place of being able to create change within that relationship.

And here’s how…

When you get triggered, or feel hurt by someone, or experience some form of negative reaction to how someone has treated you, ask yourself:

Where do I do that in my life?

(the nasty thing they did or said to you)

When you’re willing to sit with this question, ponder it, meditate on it, journal on it, explore it with an open mind and an absolute willingness to learn…

Then you’ll notice that, while you may not be doing that thing to such extremes, or in the same way, that yes, you are doing that thing.

Maybe you speak ill of other people at the office, or perhaps you treat your husband in a similar manner when you get upset, or…

Maybe you speak to yourself – in your head, or out loud – in a similar negative tone or with the same flavour of harsh words.

It’s not at all uncommon, when life isn’t going our way, to say things to ourself like ‘I’m so stupid’, ‘I’ll never get this right’, ‘I can’t believe I made that decision, what an idiot’, ‘I’ll never trust again’, ‘I hate my thighs’… or something of this negative nature.

This is called self-abuse.

The negative things we say to ourself serve no other purpose than to hurt us and hold us back from the things we aspire to having and being.

And it’s this negative self-talk that’ll be reflected to us through the people we meet each day.

Everyone is a walking mirror.

Every person is offering us direct reflections of your own thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

When we recognise this, when we’re willing to see life as a mirror – showing us the places within that need healing – then we’re able to learn and grow and expand far quicker and with far more grace.

No longer do we blame others or circumstances for how we feel.

Instead, we take full responsibility for our life and everything that happens to us.

We see every uncomfortable moment as a gift; a gift of insight.

The moment we feel a negative emotion – anger, guilt, hurt – it can be so easy to try to give that emotion to someone else.

To blame someone for how we feel.

To project that feeling onto someone else, often the people who are closest to us.

The people we have the most history with or the most rapport.

Yet these negative emotions are not designed to be passed on to each other.

They’re designed to be felt in the present moment, and in feeling them, we get to heal them.

Like I shared in last week’s episode ‘Powerless to powerful – the gift of anger’.

So if you’re experiencing a fear-based feeling, due to a life situation or interaction, then there’s healing to be had.

Healing for you.

And if there was another person involved in that experience – someone who’s triggered that feeling in you – then they’re not the enemy.

They’ve simply shown you a part of yourself that needs more love.

They’re shining light on the limiting beliefs and ideas that need to be dug up so you can feel more whole, more at one with yourself.

So essentially, you can experience more love.

More love for others.

More love for the world.

And more love for yourself.

Life, everything and everyone in it, is a mirror reflection of you!

If we speak in totally spiritual terms, there is only you.

There is no other.

Everyone is one.

And the physical beings that we meet, are simply projections of our own internal state.

Reflections of who we are being in that present moment.

So when we point the finger at another person, we’re really pointing the finger at ourself.

The important thing to understand, is that you’re not being punished when you have troublesome people in your life.

You’re being given the opportunity to transform yourself, quickly.

The annoying people around you force you to go deeper into your self-love practice.

They bring your deeper issues to your conscious awareness.

For only when you’re aware of your issues, can you then heal them.

That’s why it’s important to be grateful for the lessons that are shown to you, no matter what uncomfortable form or shape they take.

Of course your ego will simply want to make the lesson-giver wrong, and blame them or judge them.

I’ll share more about the ‘ego’ in an upcoming episode.

But what you need to know, is that blame and judgment are coming from a place of fear, not love.

And coming from a place of fear keeps us from having a meaningful connection with the other person, and ultimately, ourself.

Now, the big question I always get asked by my clients when we explore this topic is:

How do you know if it’s YOUR stuff or the other person’s stuff?


If you react to what that person says or does – if you harbour negative feelings as a result of their behaviour – then it’s YOUR stuff.

If you simply notice it – without any form of judgment – then it’s their stuff.

Another person cannot make you feel a certain way.

They don’t have that power over you.

There is a co-operation on your end to accept an insult or be riled by someone else’s issues.

It’s either an unconscious or conscious choice you make, to feel a certain way.

The more open you are to this, the more easily you’ll be able to transform those seemingly upsetting moments, into moments of deep healing.

Now, it’s important for me to say, that taking responsibility for how you feel, doesn’t mean letting people walk all over you.

And if you have that patten, where you tend to hold back from speaking your truth, then perhaps that’s the lesson you’re being shown:

That it’s time to lovingly set firm boundaries on how you wish to be treated.

And we’ll explore this in more depth, in next week’s episode.

Because there’s a misconception that staying in a place of love means biting your tongue in order to maintain the peace.

Essentially, allowing people to take advantage of you or treat you disrespectfully.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

This is actually what’s called ‘spiritual bypassing’.

Love isn’t always butterflies and rainbows!

In many instances, the most loving thing you can do, is teach a person how you wish to be treated, through loving, but firm words and actions.

Often, due to cultural or generational conditioning, patterns have been set up where people treat us a certain way, that’s not of a loving nature.

It’s our job to show a person how to treat us.

Yes, we are responsible for how we are treated.

And if speaking our truth – not from a place of reaction or emotion, but from a place of loving firmness – is not accepted by the other person, then we have the choice to walk away from that encounter.

Because remember, these people are our mirror reflections.

If you have a history of being bullied, then the only person who can break that patten is YOU.

And that requires you to firstly, stop bullying yourself.

If someone is bullying you, speaking to you in a negative way, raining on your ideas and aspirations… it’s a refection.

A reflection of your internal state.

So you start with YOU!

Instead of allowing the negative mind-chatter airtime, you continually interrupt it with more positive self-talk.

You do the inner work, which is something I teach in the Remarkable Relationships course I run, so you can essentially unplug the inner critic.

When we can turn off the negative inner chatter, we start to shift our relationship dynamics without needing to consciously change anything about how we interact with the troublesome people in our life.

Then as we start to develop a healthier internal dialogue, we naturally start acting and behaving differently with those people, and feel more comfortable teaching others how we wish to be treated.

This leads to easily being able to articulate healthy boundaries.

For setting boundaries is an act of self-love, for all involved.

When we set a loving boundary, we’re offering the other person an invitation to self-heal.

Although it’s important to realise, their healing journey is NOT our responsibility.

We can only lead by example, and leave the other person to decide how they wish to learn, be it through love or fear.

Let me say that again:

The only person you are here to heal, is YOU!

And in healing you, you’re able to heal others through setting boundaries, through being an inspiration or positive role model, and by sharing love with all you meet.

So when someone triggers you, says something hurtful, blames you for something you never did, makes you feel bad about yourself…

Stop…. and breathe.

Then take a moment, then (or at a later time when not in that person’s company) to ask yourself:

Where am I doing that thing/behaviour in my life? How am I acting that way?

Who am I treating in a similar manner? (yourself or someone else)

Why am I doing this?

What can I do to change this?

If you go into each meeting with a person, wondering:

What can I learn from this person?

What will this person show me about myself?

What are the reflections?

Then each encounter becomes an opportunity to learn more about yourself, and thus heal yourself.

To deepen your love for yourself.

But if we see each negative interaction or each time we get triggered as a ‘bad’ thing, judging the encounter or judging the person – because it makes us feel a certain way – then we miss that healing invitation.

We miss out on seeing the mirror reflections.

It’s up to us to you decide what we do with each ‘interesting’ encounter.

Judge it, make it bad, blame the other person…

Or use it to fuel our own healing journey.

If we decide to learn from each interaction we have – and in particular, learn from the relationships that trigger us the most – then we’ll continue to learn more and more about ourself and about life.

We get the direct feedback we need to cultivate deeper self-love.

If we decide not to, then we only hurt ourself.

And you my sweet, deserve so much better than that!

Now what you’ll find as you start to bring your awareness to these mirror reflections, is that…

Some relationships will be short lived, and will end once the learning has occurred.

Once we’ve gathered those mirror reflections.

Other relationships will stay in our life for longer, allowing the two people involved to grow together.

These longterm relationships offer us unlimited opportunities for learning.

These relationships are more rare, because the existence of such a relationship implies that those two people involved have reached a stage – at the same time – where the teaching-learning balance is perfect for them.

This doesn’t mean that they’re consciously aware of this.

For instance in a romantic relationship, perhaps there’s a lot of hostility playing out.

Yet, the couple have agreed that they’re willing to stay in that relationship and learn.

Sometimes slowly, sometimes more quickly.

Children are an example of a more long-term relationship.

What I love about children, is that it’s so very obvious when the parents are out of integrity.

You see, children learn from our demonstration.

They mirror how we act and behave.

That’s why, if your child is doing something unsavoury, you want to look at how and where you are doing this same thing.

Children really are some of our best teachers – offering us amazing reflections – if we’re open to seeing them as such.

I’ll share one of the key reflections I saw in my own son Zen a few years ago.

At the time he was two, and he’d formed a habit of interrupting my husband and I when we were speaking.

Upon reflection, my husband and I realised, that we did the exact same thing.

It wasn’t uncommon for us to walk into the room and start speaking, without first considering that there might already be a conversation at play.

So we did two things…

Firstly, instead of walking into a room and speaking over the top of each other, we would say ‘Excuse me’, and wait to be invited into the conversation.

My husband and I made that personal change.

Secondly, we educated our son on how it’s much more polite to say ‘Excuse me’ if we want to speak when other people are already chatting.

Within a matter of weeks, our son adopted the ‘Excuse me Mummy/Daddy’ way of interacting, which was not only super cute, but created a much more easeful environment both at home and when out and about.

And even now, he’s six, and people still comment on how polite he is.

So as you can see, it all starts with YOU.

Let’s look at another example…

Maybe you have a friend who has trouble sticking to plans, and this really bugs you.

I bring this one up, cause I’ve had friends like this…

You want to ask yourself:

Where do I not stick to plans?

Am I standing myself up?

Am I saying ‘Yes’ to others, at the expense of saying ‘Yes’ to myself?

When others show a lack of commitment to their plans with us, it’s often a reflection that we’re not committing to our relationship with ourself.

You may also want to reflect on why you’re so ‘attached’ to people sticking to their plans.

Often feelings of everything needing to stay rigidly as is, is a reflection of someone needing to be in control.

Some people use ‘control’ as a coping mechanism; they feel if they can control life, then they’ll feel safe, and as a result they have a lot of trouble simply going with the flow.

Problem is, people who need to control life, and have things go a specific way – often experience a lot of anxiety when plans change or things don’t pan out as anticipated.

What’s really great – but not always comfortable – is that you’ll attract into your life the exact people you need, to learn the lessons you’re here to learn, so that you can heal… and enjoy a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life.

If your mother-in-law drives you batty mad, there’s no accident that she came into your life.

What is she doing or saying that is triggering you?

Analyse it, then check in to see where you’re doing those things yourself.

Once you resolve them within yourself, then either 1) Her behaviour won’t bother you anymore, or 2) She won’t do those things anymore.

How you act and behave around another is simply a reflection of what you believe about yourself.

In this way, every relationship – be it with a friend, family member, colleague or stranger – is an invitation to reflect, learn, grow and heal.

This is why I often say to people…

Your relationships with other people are the best self-help program you can sign up for, if you have the tools to heal what gets reflected back at you.

If you treat life as a learning platform, then every interaction is an opportunity to learn and grow your self-love.

Every interaction, every uncomfortable situation, every challenge is offering us an invitation to step up, to shine awareness on some old conditioning, so we can let it go.

Life becomes our school.

A constant learning platform where we get to learn through the relationships we have.

Relationships with people, but also the relationships we have with our finances, our career, our health and our emotions.

And this is the core focus of the Remarkable Relationships course, where I teach my clients the exact skills and practices they need to 1) Clear the beliefs that are causing the issues in their life, 2) Unhinge the negative self-talk, and 3) Design relationships (with people and with life) that truly nourish them, so they can thrive.

So if you feel called to go deeper, you can learn more about this course here.

But the real take home from today’s episode is this:

Our relationships are there to serve us.

To show us what we need to release, let go of, and heal.

And when we’re willing to look at the mirror reflections our relationships are showing us, our relationships become a platform for growth, and a pleasure to be in.

That’s all for today.

Next week we’ll dive deeper into how we can teach people how to treat us more lovingly.

But until then, I invite you to start to see your relationships as gifts, and just see where that leads for you.

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2 Comments on “Ep.7 Use your relationships to grow your self-love.”

  1. Hi Tamra,

    WOW this blog is a great way for me to remember how I want to be and response in my life.

    I had forgotten about how my life is such a mirror of what is going on with myself…

    A reminder to make time to check in with my sensations, feelings, thoughts…

    What can I learn about myself and where can I tune myself to become a more loving channel.

    Thank you for including the words to your vlogs. This helps me to visually find specfic examples etc. quickly.

    With Great Appreciation for You Tamra,

    1. Absolute pleasure, Cindy. So happy to hear that this podcast was able to remind you of the mirror effect of life. Isn’t it such a powerful lesson to help us heal and grow and recenter. Much love x

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