A New Way To Look At Old Relationships
“Nothing comes ahead of its time, and nothing ever happened that didn’t need to happen.” ~ Byron Katie
Recently, a few of my close friends have been going through relationship breakups. Most of them are handling it well and learning a lot in the process. Having this at the forefront of my mind has caused me to think about relationships in a perspective that may be helpful for those of you going through a recent breakup or still trying to overcome one that happened a while ago.
Principle One: The purpose of relationships is growth.
This is a massive concept. So, I thought I would give it to you first (so you can spend the rest of the post digesting it). I could also follow it up with these next two statements:
Relationships are fluid rather than concrete. Relationships are about the process rather than the destination.
If I were to ask people what they think relationships are really about, they might answer along the lines of: “To be with someone who loves me unconditionally”, or “To be with someone who makes me happy”, or “To be with someone who makes me feel secure”, etc. And, the kind of unspoken general consensus of how one should tackle relationships is to, “Find the one you want to be with as quickly and as efficiently as possible”. With this last statement in mind it could easily be concluded that any relationship that didn’t serve a lifetime is considered to be a “failed relationship”.
But, what if every relationship served its own purpose? What if every relationship gave you an opportunity to grow? What is every past relationship was a stepping stone to something new and more desirable? What if every relationship you ever experienced was the perfect one that you needed to be with at the time?
If you think about your past relationships that have ended and apply this new perspective, you may just find some rare and beautiful gems of how each of these relationships have served you and helped you grow.
Principle Two: Past relationships help you define what you really want.
The great thing about life is that we have the ability to discern what we do like and what we don’t like. However it’s hard to tell sometimes what this is – when we have NO EXPERIENCE of what it’s like to have something or not have something. And, that’s the great thing about certain relationships you may have experienced in the past as they helped you define so clearly what you did and did not want.
Maybe you found a girl that was everything that you ever wanted minus this one annoying thing that was a complete deal breaker with you. If you experienced that – then don’t be sad that it didn’t work out with this girl – be excited about finding a new girl that was all those things without that annoying deal breaker.
Relationships that didn’t work out give you the experience to know what you do want in a partner and what you don’t want in a partner. And, without that experience – you may have never known what those things were. How can that be a bad thing?
Principle Three: Past and current relationships help you heal yourself.
All relationships that we have in our lives are a reflection of ourselves. Sometimes the things that irritate us most about another person are there because we recognize it in ourselves. Because the purpose of relationships is growth a true soulmate/spiritual partnership will actually stir up unresolved issues that you can still need to work on. If you have the courage and willingness to look at these areas you can find a way to heal yourself so that you can love more freely and unconditionally in the future.
The great thing about relationships is that you keep attracting the same ones UNTIL you learn what you really need to learn. Do you know of someone who keeps dating the same woman or man over and over again (just with a different name and face)? Whatever the lesson is – it’s always going to be the same until you develop the awareness of what you need to learn and apply that new learning.
I’m not sure how to end this post. In some ways – I believe that it doesn’t really need an ending. But I will leave you with this quote by Byron Katie:
“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.”
I’ve had my say, now it’s your turn …