Deepak Chopra teaches that within every challenge lies opportunity.
Every setback, failure and mistake in your life offers a chance to grow, to learn, to rise above the ashes of the past with a newfound strength. It's often the big ones — especially the big ones — that invite change. Relationships are no exception.
Here, 14 lessons I've learned from a failed relationship that I hope you can take into your next endeavor, whether it be in love or anything else:
1. It’s better to be alone than to be with someone who makes you feel all alone.
When someone looks at you and sees what they want to see and not who you really are, it's spirit-crushing. Find someone who really sees you, who gives you the freedom to be yourself and who helps you flourish.
2. Listen to your intuition.
If you have an inner voice that is persistently whispering to you, prodding you and trying to shake you awake, listen to it. You can rely on it and you can trust it.
3. The worst decision you can make is no decision.
Living in indecisiveness eats away at your soul. You can’t move forward and create a new life, and you can’t fully enjoy and focus on the present moment.
4. Relationships can be amazingly beautiful.
There is a reason there have been so many poems and songs written, stories told, lives dedicated to finding the right one.
5. Relationships are only one aspect of a full, beautiful, satisfying life.
There are so many other aspects to your life — livelihood, fun, leisure, friendships, service to the world. Many roads lead to joy and fulfillment. You can feel incredibly happy and satisfied without a relationship or while you're waiting to find the right one.
6. Your identity is not dependent on your partner.
Your worth is not contingent on being somebody’s wife, girlfriend, husband, fiance, boyfriend or lover. It's simply one role you play in life. Your spirit and value to the world doesn't change based on external factors like whether you have a partner, a house or a "successful" career.
7. It’s OK to lean on people.
You don’t have to be stoic to go it alone: call up a friend in tears, put the word out if you need help moving. The more we open up and lean on each other, the stronger we will all become as a collective as we realize asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
8. Self-love is the most important kind of love because it determines your capacity to love others.
Show yourself unconditional love and compassion even when you feel like you’ve taken a misstep or let yourself down. Remember that an action or failure to act may have been bad, but you are not bad. Actions are separate from you. Be gentle on yourself. Make time for activities that make you feel alive, in the flow, nourished and fulfilled. Prioritize them.
9. It doesn’t matter what other people think.
Of you, of your situation, of your choices. They don’t have to sleep in your bed at night, they don’t have to lay on your deathbed swallowing your regrets.
10. Give to give, not to receive.
Don’t play tit-for-tat and stop keeping score. There's something beautiful about giving joyfully, unconditionally and simply for the sake of doing something nice. Take the time to feel someone else’s happiness as your own.
11. Face problems and challenges with a team attitude.
Instead of approaching a problem with a "you vs. your partner" mentality, think of it as "you guys vs. the problem." Become a united front — the challenge is an entity separate from your relationship and you're both working together to solve it.
12. Regret is a waste of energy.
Mistakes are inevitable. Remember that you have to fall and get back up to learn who you are. Don’t get caught up lamenting about the days you lost. You have so many beautiful blank-page days ahead to spend any way you like
13. There is a huge difference between comfortable silence and boredom.
One is a sign of a beautiful, connected relationship. The other is a warning sign that something is off. Don't confuse the two.
14. Spending time alone is incredibly worthwhile.
Even if you're in a loving and happy relationship, be comfortable with your own company. If you don’t already, hang out alone and get to know yourself. It's fundamental not only to building a happy fulfilling relationship, but also to creating your dream life.
I hope this list inspires you to consider a situation in your life that feels like a setback, failure or mistake, and realize what you learned from it and how it forced you to grow into a stronger, brighter version of YOU.