The strange truth: life is a mirror. The way in which we fall into the ‘potential trap’ appears as an ordinary pace up the progression chart of every. single. human. encounter. Our decision to proceed with a relationship, whether it be platonic, romantic, sexual or even… professional – our expectations are what drive us to pursue, proceed or turn away and this all plays down into potential and our own conceived perception of the other’s potential. Those we meet and become conditioned into the up keep of the relationship, hold potential however this potential is merely a mirror of lack, that is lack in ourselves. We look to others to fulfil the gaps in our lives, human relations, human interactions occur in order to fulfil something that we’ve longed for.
Jacques Laquan referred to this as the ‘objet petit a‘ which roughly translates into: the small object… that is the unattainable object of our own desires, we turn to others as a method of simply wish fulfilment. We have these expectations that we project onto others, they are our own insecurities disguised and then we decide that it is they, and not us that cannot match up to this potential that we have created. This is the ‘potential trap‘.
Potential shapes our understanding of the world, without potential we fall into a pattern of living blindly without predictability of action, without societal expectations. We expect others to embody that which we desire, embody our needs and desires and when they fall short we either collapse inward in self-doubt of our ability to perceive or we press blame onto the other’s inability to perform our own ideas of perfection. The only way to avoid disappointment, to avoid the anguish and the hurt… to move away from self-doubt is to recognise and remove our own projections.
The way in which we perceive others, adheres to our own lack, we recognise in them the lack within ourselves and in doing so enforce expectations of the potential that which we see in them. We place this person on a pedestal holding them up based on their potential, however in actually what we are doing is holding a mirror up to ourselves. The only way out of the labyrinth of disappointment is to distance oneself from the expectation-potential nexus.