Pay attention to what you do when someone abandons you; disappoints you; leaves you or breaks-up with you.

Do you get into stories of attack or blame?

Do you justify their behavior by telling yourself, “They’re just messed up,” or “It’s bad timing,” or “She has a lot of work to do on herself before she’s ready for a relationship,” or “This is their bad pattern,” or the best one, “It was so good between us, it was scary and he/she ran away.”

Or worse yet; do you victimize yourself, by thinking things along the lines of, “Why do I always attract emotionally unavailable men?” or “Something’s wrong with me and I’m unlovable.”

How helpful are any of those coping strategies?

I found myself in a place of heartbreak in October of 2014. It felt like the first and biggest heartbreak of my life. I cried myself to sleep for 4 months straight while my mind whirred with strategic ways I could make things work with this man. My heart felt like someone was taking a chain saw to it.

What made this situation unique was I was only with this person for a few months. How could it be that I was SO heartbroken after such a short period of time? I was with my X-husband for a span of 20 years and the heartbreak I felt as we dissolved our marriage and split up our family was a blip on the screen comparatively.

So, while I simultaneously tortured myself with several attempts to get back together with the man I’d been seeing, the following questions bubbled up from a deeper place within:

What is this pain about? What am I supposed to learn? What is the lesson here?

While I cried and strategized, the questions arose over and over and over in my mind.

I knew it wasn’t about HIM. This heartbreak was about ME. There was something inside cracking open.

The answer finally came about 6 months after we broke up. It became suddenly clear that this man showed me where I needed to grow. Without getting into details here, I can say this:

He mirrored all of my own blocks and places where I needed development.

It’s pretty simple. I can’t think of one situation where a relationship (whether it works out or not) doesn’t offer us this amazing opportunity to learn about ourselves.

When my clients come to me, I hear how they too get into habitual patterns of response. Once we name the pattern, together we ask those same questions:

What is this pain about? What am I supposed to learn? What is the lesson here?

And further: What did this relationship teach me? How was this person a ‘sign post’ on my path of development? What gift did this person bring to me that was an affirmation of how far I’ve already come?

If, with great curiosity we can discover opportunities for our own growth and awakening, we can look at all relationships as a gift.

A gift to grow.

A gift to deepen.

A gift to be more compassionate with ourselves.