Every failed relationship is a learning experience.
Put simply, a relationship is an investment. We invest our time, money, and our hearts. When that investment goes sour, we feel wounded and, moreover, we feel like we have failed.
Our culture has taught us that failure is bad and that all failure should yield only negative consequences. If you fail a test, you may not continue to the next level. If you fail a job, you get fired. If you fail to follow a rule, you shall be punished.
What we are not taught is that behind every moment of failure is a lesson. We usually look at the immediate outcome of the so-called failure, but rarely do we look at the silent lesson lingering just next to it.
When it comes to our failed relationships, we only feel the sting of the blow and the emptiness of what was once there. But if you look further, the relationship offers this remarkable enlightenment of showing us our own walls. We now get the chance to peek into our own limitations and examine how we showed up in that relationship.
Think about your most recent relationship, whether it was your ex-spouse or recent lover. Where were you at the time of your encounter? Not physically, like Starbucks, but where were you emotionally? Were you in need of healing? Were you escaping pain and wanting him to make that pain go away? Was he escaping pain and using you as his elixir? You will learn that every failed relationship is due to your not being in true alignment with yourself. One can never be harmonious with another if there is no harmony within one's self.
So then, we will only continue to rendezvous with the same type of person unless we understand the lesson from the most recent failed relationship.
My dear mentor, Marianne Williamson, writes in her book Return to Love:
"Often we see a couple who has separated or divorced and look with sadness at the "failure" of their relationship. But if both people learned what they were meant to learn, then that relationship was a success….. People who have the most to teach us are often the ones who reflect back to us the limits to our own capacity to love, those who consciously or unconsciously challenge our fearful positions."
Rather than feeling wounded from your ended relationship, ask yourself: where has it shown you the places you must grow? Perhaps now you will no longer tolerate intolerance. Maybe today, you will create healthier boundaries. Or starting next week, you will say, "that's not okay," when you feel the slightest bit uncomfortable.
Your failed relationship is only a true failure if you do not receive the gifts left behind from its departure.
Your next relationship, the one that offers bliss and unconditional love, is there waiting for you—but only if you acknowledge that your former was not a failure, but a miracle!