What if I told you that your relationships — even the failed ones (in fact, especially the failed ones) — were the gateway to self-awareness and -acceptance? That through an exploration of your relationships you could uncover your deepest fears and beliefs about life itself?
Each of your relationships serves as a microscope, allowing you to peer into the deep recesses of your heart and your unconscious mind. If you take a moment to step back from the idea that relationships are something that happens to or outside of you and into the idea that relationships are a reflection of your inner world, you can unlock a new awareness of who you are and the barriers that hold you back. By harnessing the power of this awareness, you can transform your relationships.
It took me a long time to internalize this. I spent decades blaming my ex-partners for the failings of past relationships, convinced that it was circumstance that had brought us together and circumstance that had torn us apart.
My moment of awareness came when, at 35, I was curled up in a ball in my bed, tears streaming, and felt a clench in my heart so painful I thought it would swallow me. Another relationship had ended the night before, and in this broken moment, I suddenly found clarity I’d never had before: I was the only common denominator in all of these experiences. The thing that needed to change was me.
I had thought about this before, but until this moment, that perspective had been tied up in deep self-blame. This time, I tried to work through that, and the journey I went on transformed not only the way I behave in relationships but also the type of partner I attract.
The people in our relationships are mirrors, providing opportunity to see ourselves more clearly than we can alone. By seeing our default patterns and flaws more clearly, we can begin to change and shift our approach to relationships.
Although there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to what your relationships reveal about you, these are three of the common relationship patterns I see as a love coach and what they often reveal about the individuals involved: