Imago is an image in your subconscious mind that consists of both the negative and positive traits of your father and your mother and/or other caregivers; it also contains the memory of all of your unmet needs in childhood.
Needs that are not met in childhood, will lead to adaptations to try and get the unmet needs met in adulthood. You attract/fall in love with a partner that “fits” your imago (image) in your subconscious mind. The goal of the relationship is to get your unmet needs from childhood fulfilled in adulthood by a partner resembling the energy of your childhood so that all the aspects of the self can be healed/integrated/seen. What gets in the way of healing and integration, are the adaptations.
We adopt adaptations in order to survive emotionally; we use adaptations to lock away or transmute parts of ourselves that are unacceptable. Partners try to use these adaptations to get their needs met and when these adaptations fail to get our needs met, conflict develops. In conflicting situations, partners project an enormous amount of their own issues onto each other.
Projection serves the purpose of making the “invisible” of the subconscious “visible” by putting it “out there” onto our partner. We think that our projection is about our partner, and not about ourselves; in this we miss the opportunity for getting in touch with who and what we are.
The potential for healing and growth in relationships, lies in the space between people, between two partners. Imago teaches that the space in between people needs to be cleansed and sanctified in a sacred, empathetic way, to create safety in order for people to show up as their real selves and not as their adaptations.