I am always intrigued when people say, “It didn’t work out”, when a relationship ends, usually followed by a diatribe of how the other person is lacking this AND that or they are the worst person on earth or ____________ (feel free to fill in the blank with your own examples). Our perception determines our reality. Events (including relationships) are just that, events, however our interpretation of said events influences our experience as a result.
‘Once we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change’ (Neale Donald Walsch). Adhering to this perspective, I do not subscribe to the notion that a breakup or a relationship ending is a failure or unsuccessful. Nor do I view it as a dichotomy: winners/ losers, right/wrong, your fault/ their fault, etc; instead I believe relationships (romantic, professional, personal) are what they are, for as long as they are until the purpose has been fulfilled.
At times, we can have a limited, narcissistic perspective on life which hinders our ability to comprehend the grand scheme. With our limited perspective (microscopic view) we do not recognize the various seeds which were planted, lessons learned or taught and tools obtained or given during each of these experiences. It is not until the tree/plant/flower begins to blossom or we pull out the appropriate ‘tool’ in a new situation or we no longer make the same mistakes that we become aware of the purpose of the relationship.
Take a few moments to reflect on a relationship which ended (one you have gotten over) and try to remember how you felt when it happened. Maybe the event was losing a job, or not getting accepted into a particular school. Perhaps you felt devastated, believing you could and would never love again or advance your career. Maybe you were angry and blamed the other person for months even years (are you still blaming them?). Now fast forward to the time when you finally let go of the anger, sadness, blame, hurt, etc and were able to reflect on the event. What did you realize?
Perhaps you were finally able to recognize your role in the relationship, or maybe learned valuable lessons about which characteristics in another (potential partner) expand or decrease your happiness. Or maybe it was not until you landed the ideal job, entered into a wonderful romantic relationship or decided to backpack through Europe for a year that you finally realized life has ore to offer and your personal journey is consistently evolving which requires endings in order for there to be beginnings.
Who have you incarcerated in your emotional/mental prison due to your inability to forgive? Grant a pardon to them today, releasing them, in actuality releasing you. Send them on their way with love and give thanks for the moments you two shared, lessons learned and tools obtained.
Each of your experiences (romantic, professional, social, etc) all contribute to make you who you are and more importantly provide the tools and seeds needed to cultivate your love garden. Therefore, give thanks to all of your past loves and experiences for they have contributed to the person you are today and all future events will shape who you are destined to be.