PRICELESS RELATIONSHIP LESSONS
What have my past relationships taught me?
That every person I engaged with was a reflection of where I was in life AT THAT POINT in terms of my maturation. In terms of what I knew, and what I didn’t know about others and myself, about love and relationships.
Relationships test your courage to be honest with others. They really challenge you! And if they are to last they require you to be yourself...
Your ability to truly love grows in line with your ability to be yourself and VULNERABLE with another. The ability to be vulnerable is a reflection of true confidence. Fear, on the other hand, doesn't mix well with love and integrity. The failure to understand your fears will become THE reason for your relationship failure. Those same fears will also hold an unhealthy relationship together long past its sell by date like a dried piece of crap...
Some of my relationships were more painful than others when they fell apart. Which had nothing to do with the length of their course (excuse the pun), and everything to do with feeling rejected, abandoned, unloved. The more was their character a product of my own imagination, instead of who they really were, the angrier I felt when our relatiohip fell apart. At them at first for lying to me about themselves. Then at myself for lying to myself about them. The process in this particular order was necessary for me to look at ME. At MY mistakes, my unhealthy needs and insecurities. Yes, it was excrutiatingly painful as feeling like a complete failure only rearfirmed my demon of a belief: that I was UNLOVEABLE. This particular belief I carried around since childhood, yet consciously knew nothing about, was also responsible for accepting the mistreatment from my partners. 'You are NOT worth any better' my subconscious nagged me every time my self-doubt crept in...
Only when I accepted responsibility for how my own immaturity got me into those kind of relationships, I was ready to responsibly grow out of those experiences towards a wiser, truly confident me.
Every failure is an opportunity for growth. Relationships are a first class lecture on learning about who we are. Knowing who others are simply isn’t enough for our own growth! We must use our intimate relationships as intense lessons which teach us first hand from daily interactions with others about ourselves. Others are our mirror, reflecting back to us where we are broken. Which is why unhealthy relationships brings much pain to us.
What do desperate relationships built on fear teach us about us?
They teach us how unloveable we must feel when we are looking for love in the eyes of those desperate others. Most of us are clueless fools attempting to find ourselves in another. When our mirror shatters we are left broken, alone with our warped perception of who we are. Instead of picking up the pieces and focusing on getting better, on our growth, we nurse our pain by finding a brand new mirror. We put our happy mask on and pretend how fine we are and that the last mirror was simply faulty...
So many times I have run away from myself towards a brand new, disappoinment untainted relationship. Hoping that the reason why the previous one fell apart had nothing to do with me and everything to do with my ex. But with the increasing number of my exes, the pressure mounted in line with the disheartening truth coming as an answer to a particularly burning question: 'Yes they mistreated you. Yes they couldn't truly love you. But WHY DID YOU ALLOW IT TO CONTINUE!?'
1/ Because I thought it was normal.
2/ Because I believed I don't deserve any different.
3/ Because I was scared to lose them.
Why did I think such behaviour was normal?
I saw similar behaviour growing up at home. I saw drama on TV and heard about it from other people. You are after all the product of your own environment, and when you believe something is OK, it is almost impossible to change.
Why did I believe I don't deserve any different?
My carers treated me with disrespect, they manipulated me and showed me that I am simply not enough to deserve their love. I feared their rejection and did everything they asked of me. I pleased my way through childhood into my adult relationships.
Abandonment is the ultimate betrayal a child can experience from his/her loved ones. If at any point in your early life your parents left you feeling helpless and alone, you will do anythiing in your power to avoid this happening again. Including accepting abuse. (Which only reinforces back your deep seated belief that you don't deserve being loved anyway.) This is why I was so scared to lose my partners athough it was painful to stay with them. It felt much worse to be left alone.
'What you allow in relatioship is just a measure of how much you love and respect you.' was my ultimate gain for all my past pain. When I was a child it was difficult to know what is right, what is OK, HEALTHY. My relationships were a mere extension of my primary relationships. I now know that they were my opportunity to grow wiser than those who raised me, to ensure the continuous, conscious evolution of my future generations.
Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.
Copyright © 2017 Michaela Patel
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