The Miracle in the Ugly Package

I have just finished reading Chicken Soup for the Single’s Soul. Nice read and well worth the look if you are single, but looking. There was an anonymous quote that seemed just right for starting this blog entry: “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

Most relationships begin with so much hope for the perfect life with the perfect person, yet many of those relationships will end-either mutually or with a good deal of angst or anger. What’s more, too many individuals barely draw a deep breath before they take off, searching for the next relationship to replace the one they just lost. They take no time to reflect on what went amiss-maybe because it is easier to just find a new person to act as a distraction from the pain of ending that relationship. Unfortunately, this often ends up as a missed opportunity. In one of his texts Michael Korda stated: “Never walk away from failure. On the contrary, study it carefully and imaginatively for its hidden assists.”

Yes, people, pain can be the best teacher. Maybe it’s time to listen to what pain has to say. I am sure you have heard this bit of wisdom before. I call it “finding the miracle in the ugly package.” Every event has so much to offer us, even if it doesn’t have the fairytale ending. It is the bits of wisdom that you gain through those endings that can help you pick better the next time around.

Do you find yourself saying:
“I’ll never again date someone who talks to me with such disrespect.”
“I don’t want to be with someone who always puts me at the end of the value list.”
“Why did s/he always have to decide where we would go or what we would do?”
Or maybe you even find yourself saying, “I feel so used. How could s/he treat me that way? I would never treat anyone that
way.”

I could fill an entire set of A-to-Z reference books with statements like these shared in my groups, classes, and counseling sessions. Too often, people in recovery from a broken relationship focus solely on trying to either blame and demonize their former partner or trying to figure out why that person did what they did that caused the relationship to fail. Wouldn’t it be more fruitful to use that same energy to determine what that relationship has taught you about what you need in a relationship? Perhaps when you are ready to go looking again, you can narrow your search, based on the new information those broken relationships have taught you about what you need or what you will not tolerate the next time around.

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