Relationships are by far our greatest teachers. When we are in love with someone, we always have the hope that this person could be the one we spend our lives with. Each relationship starts off with that hope and intention, which is why when it ends, it is extremely painful. The greatest thing about each relationship we have is it serves as a mirror for where we need to grow.
Five Reasons Why No Relationship is a Waste of Time:
1) The wrong relationship prepares us for the right one.
The relationships which do not stand the test of time always have a gift for us. We can look at what didn’t work in this relationship and become clearer about how we want our next relationship to look. Once we have that image, we have grown into a new idea about what love is and can be.
2) If a relationship didn’t bring us what we wanted, it did teach us what we didn’t want.
Knowing what kind of treatment we don’t want makes us very clear on the kinds of treatment we do want. This is a great way to develop new standards by which we want to love as we are more aware of what we will accept and what we will not.
3) We learn about our patterns.
We bring our old patterns into each relationship. When we start repeating patterns that create arguments, chaos, rejection or abandonment, we can use these lessons to see what we need to change and where we need to grow. It really isn’t about changing our partners because they are not responsible for the patterns we bring into our relationships. There is nothing more valuable than going into a relationship and learning how our patterns contributed to its demise.
When we are in a relationship we can either gain self-respect or lose it depending upon how we allow ourselves to be treated. Relationships are the best places to learn where and how we need to respect ourselves. We learn that we do not do anyone any favors by allowing ourselves to be taken advantage of. We learn what our limits are and we act upon those limits by asserting ourselves when we have been hurt. Our relationships give us the arena to learn to act on our own behalf in an effort to step into our value.
5) Grief promotes growth.
Life is a process of beginnings and endings. Whenever a relationship ends we experience its loss. We tend to identify strongly with those we love, so when the relationship ends we have to get back to ourselves, deal with loneliness for a while and lean into those uncomfortable emotions. When we are in pain we are growing and this is what gets us more strongly identified as individuals. Each loss in our life is meant to bring us into a closer relationship with ourselves and where we need to mature, grow, love ourselves and become more confident. As we take each relationship for what it is, we will see that the learning to come from each is invaluable as a mirror to learning about ourselves.
Relationships are the playground where love, self-esteem, insecurity, worth and value all get to play and help define each other. As these states all intermingle and we combine and try out different mixtures, we soon come up with a working formula of what works best for us in relationships.
Little Life Message: Each relationship is a gift in getting to know and learn to love ourselves better and with more value.
Dr. Sherrie Campbell is the author of Loving Yourself and is a licensed Psychologist with more than nineteen years of clinical training and experience. She provides practical tools to help people overcome obstacles to self-love and truly achieve an empowered life. Click here to get her free article on Five Ways to Make Love the Common Ground in Your Communication. She is a featured expert on a variety of national websites and has a successful practice in Southern California. Receive free insights from Sherrie and to be involved in her Facebook community of others looking to improve their relationships.