If we view this life journey that all of us are making as essentially a learning experience, then it could be argued that there’s no such thing as making a mistake. Everything we say and do is a reflection of where we’re at in our own process of growth, and the pain we feel as a result of certain decisions we make carries with it the lessons that we need to learn. This truth is probably most obvious in the area of our intimate relationships, because they involve us entirely – in mind, body and spirit. Every interaction we have with other people serves as a mirror of what we’re carrying inside; when we’re involved with a partner, this is simply intensified.
Often when relationships sour, we feel a lot of bitterness and shift into a mode of blame. If this is where the focus of our thoughts lies, then we can always find reasons to justify believing that the other person is at fault. But such a belief is an illusion. If we can’t recognize that everything that happens in a relationship “takes two”, then we don’t take personal responsibility – and we’ll be doomed, as a result, to experience the same disappointments over and over again.
Acknowledging that we’re the ones creating our personal experience in the first place is the only way to feel empowered to change that experience. Otherwise we keep projecting – shifting the power over our lives onto other people’s shoulders. If our immediate response to breaking up with someone is to start thinking about finding someone else to fill the empty space, we might profit from asking ourselves why we’re so convinced that we’re not OK as we are.
The best way to avoid disappointments in the future is to own the pain we’re feeling now, without blaming it on other people or circumstances, and try to uncover the inner beliefs that are causing that pain. Maybe we don’t feel that we’re worthy of fulfilled love in the first place. Maybe we think we’re inadequate. If so, we could have fallen into a habit of getting involved with partners in the hopes that they’ll somehow contradict this image with have and reflect back to us, instead, our worthiness. Maybe those people would even do it, if they were able. But these convictions are ours, and only we can change them. Any attempt to place our own personal power somewhere else, to give someone else the responsibility of proving our worth, will lead inevitably back to the same old disappointments.
The breakup of a loving relationship hurts. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. Really, our only hope of moving forward – and beyond the pain – is to take personal responsibility for what happened and examine our own thoughts and feelings underlying it all. Doing this won’t insure that we’ll never be hurt again. But if we’ve really absorbed the life lesson, we can at least rest assured that we won’t be hurt in the same way.