It is a common pattern for some of us in relationships to be rescuers. It is as if we are on the look out for someone who we can save or rehabilitate. A rescuer often feels a duty or obligation to maintain a relationship as it is even when we are feeling used. A rescuer often makes excuses for someone else's behavior even when it is self destructive or harmful to us. The rescuer, like everyone else, has needs. But rescuers don't feel worthy enough to ask for what they want. Instead, they convince themselves that if they give enough to others the recipient of their giving will clearly appreciate the rescuer so much that the taker will begin to give back to the rescuer, which is what the rescuer secretly wants all along. They want to be loved, nurtured and cared for. That is the hope and fantasy of the rescuer. But, because the rescuer has chosen someone who needs rescuing, someone who by definition takes and does not give, the rescuer never gets what he or she really wants, which is to be rescued. There is no such thing as a rescuer that doesn’t want to be rescued.
If we are a classic rescuer, we need to learn to expose our needs and wants to others in a straightforward way. As rescuers, we have a difficult time receiving and so it benefits us to examine the resistance we have to receiving and asserting our needs and wants. We can then begin to learn how to receive. Now if you are thinking, “Thank God that isn’t me, I’m definitely not a rescuer”, think again. I’m going to take you a little deeper and show you how most people are rescuers and they don’t even know it.
Attraction is simple. It is either there or it is not there and yet it is a much more complicated thing than you have been led to believe. Many things that draw us to a specific person are savory and many are unsavory. But it is to be understood that when we are searching for a mate, we are looking for a match, an equal. We are in fact looking for ourselves in another.
In the big picture, opposites do not actually attract. One could say that the fact that males attract females is evidence that opposites attract. But the male and the female are both human. Humans attract humans, so same attracts same. In many ways it could be argued that duality and non-duality is just a matter of perspective. However, as it applies to humans, the way people usually deal with pain is to swing to one extreme style of coping or the other. But the baseline vibration beneath the surface expression is exactly the same.
For example, take two people, both of which have social anxiety. They both want to hide. One hides by becoming a wallflower; the other hides by creating a persona and becoming the class clown. If they fell in love with each other, we could say “opposites attract” but it wouldn’t be accurate because if we look deeper, the vibration inspiring their personalities is exactly the same. It is social anxiety.
Most of the process of attraction is happening on a subconscious level. We are looking for the person who mirrors us the very best. This is the way that the universe or collective consciousness ensures the most expansion. Self-actualization is facilitated by our relationships. Because of the law of attraction, the universe draws us to the person who mirrors us the best. It feels great when our partner mirrors good feeling things within us, like our caring or our depth or our intellect. But that is not the only vibration that is resident within us. We also have bad feeling things within us as well, like our inability to receive or our self-centeredness or our closed mindedness.
I have yet to meet a person who has not experienced some kind of trauma in their lifetime. Even if parents were capable of providing a perfectly loving experience for their children, the very experience of being born into a self that is separate from the whole is traumatizing. So, we have all experienced varying degrees of good feeling things and varying degrees of traumatizing things. These traumatizing experiences cause wounds in us emotionally and mentally and even physically. And sometimes these wounds go unhealed. Your number one desire (whether you are conscious of it or not) is to become fully healed. Rather than healed, lets say whole and fully integrated. But if you are not conscious and aware of these wounds because they happened so long ago, you attract partners who make you aware of those wounds because they mirror them. And by mirroring them, they exacerbate them.
In other words, the people we are inexplicably drawn to have the same wound that we do. And because they have the same wound that we do, it causes a flare up in the wound we both share.
Here’s where the rescuer dynamic comes in. On a subconscious level, you have always wanted to heal your wound. But you are unconscious of that wound. And so the only way to see it is to step in front of a mirror. The mirror is your partner. And when you step in front of your partner and recognize the wound, you then start to try to heal the wound in the reflection. Thinking subconsciously, “If I can just heal that wound in this other person, I’ll have healed it in myself.” You are insatiably attracted to people who provide you with the opportunity to become aware of and heal that wound, thus becoming a rescuer to that hurt aspect of them and you.
Those of you who have recognized painful patterns in your relationships would benefit by becoming especially aware of this dynamic. Chronic painful patterns in relationships suggest that a deep unhealed wound is resident that you keep trying to unconsciously remedy through your relationships. You are trying to love yourself through them.
Take a very objective look at the patterns inherent in what you are attracted to about the people you have been in a relationship with or are in a relationship with. What are you drawn to again and again? Rather than get lost in how any of them were different, begin to look for what they had in common with each other. Then ask yourself, “What am I drawn to that keeps causing me problems?”
For example, a woman might have dated a great many men, all of whom were very different at face value. But when she asks herself “What am I drawn to that is common among all of the men I’ve been with?” she might realize that she is attracted to athletes who are loners. She notices that is insatiably attracted to outcasts who are lost with nowhere to belong.
She recognizes that the fact that they are athletes does not cause her pain. But the thing that she is attracted to that is causing her problems is that they are loners. The reason it is causing her pain is because she has found out the hard way that loners are often loners for a reason. They keep people at arms length and are emotionally unavailable. As a result, they make her lonely.
You see, the reality (if this woman was to look deep enough) is that she, herself is lonely. Her wound is that she feels like a loner who is lost with nowhere to belong. She is attracting men with her exact same wound. She is subconsciously convinced that if she can get a loner who is lost and doesn’t belong to feel lovingly connected to her and feel like they belong with her, she has solved her own loneliness problem. When this woman thinks about the prospect of being with a man who is not lonely and who is not lost and who feels as if he belongs in the life he is living, she feels as if there will be no space for her in his life. She fears that he will only make her feel like she does not fit in and thus feel lonelier and more outcast than she already does. This woman is trying to rescue herself through the men she is with. She is trying to rescue and heal the parts of herself that need healing through him. We look for others who have the same wound that we have so that we can heal our own wound externally. We are rescuers. But we are trying to vicariously rescue ourselves. Here’s another example, a man might discover that all the women in his past, though different in many ways, were all very beautiful and were unstable and dark and negative. Also, every one of them wanted desperately to be famous. Which means that they all lacked a sense of significance. He is not caused pain by the fact that they are beautiful. But the problems arise for him as a result of the fact that they are unstable, dark, negative and attention seeking. The reason it keeps causing him pain is that these common personality traits in the women he has been with always end up making him feel emotionally unstable, hopeless and like he is sinking into a dark space. You see, the reality (if this man was to look deep enough) is that he, himself is emotionally unstable, dark, negative and lacks a sense of significance. That is his wound. He is attracting women with his exact same wound. He is subconsciously convinced that if he can get an unstable, dark, negative woman who lacks a sense of significance to feel stable, light, happy and self confident, he has healed his own problem. When this man thinks about the prospect of being with a woman who is stable, light, happy and self confident, he feels a sense of panic. He feels as if he will be exposed and cannot hide his dysfunction. He also feels like he is ultimately not good enough for her. This man is trying to rescue himself through the women he is with. He is trying to rescue and heal the parts of himself that need healing through her.
If your relationships are chronically painful, chances are that what you have in common with your significant other is your wounds. You are trying to save yourselves through each other. And as the other person exacerbates your wounds, you will beg them to solve the problem and make you feel better. But the pain just gets worse. The more time you are with them, the bigger the mirror becomes. I will give you a hint that the thing we most often try to rescue in others is the very deepest pain within ourselves. I made a YouTube video a while back called “Find your Negative Imprint, Find your Life Purpose”. We usually try to rescue ourselves by finding people who mirror our negative imprint. So watch that video to get deeper awareness of what you might be trying to rescue in yourself through others.
Once we become aware of this pattern, we can go to work on the real issue… the wound within ourselves. For example, the woman in the previous scenario can take steps to feel less lonely and begin to let love in. She can also choose different partners who do not up the chances of her ending up lonely within a relationship.
The man in the previous scenario can change his life in ways that cause him to feel stable. He can work on cultivating positivity and building his self-confidence to the degree that he feels his own significance.
Awareness causes integration and healing to occur spontaneously so sometimes awareness of the wound within you is all it takes to stop being attracted to people who mirror that wound. So now, all that’s left to do is to ask you a question… What is within you that is in need of rescue?