Deepak Chopra teaches that within every challenge lies opportunity.
Within each of the setbacks and mistakes in your life, there has been a chance to grow, to learn, to rise above the ashes of the past with a newfound strength. Even the big ones. Especially the big ones.
Here are 21 valuable lessons from a failed relationship.
1. It’s better to be alone than 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 is spirit-crushing. Find someone who really sees you, who gives you the freedom to be yourself, and who helps you flourish into the best brightest version of you.
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 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; 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 about them, stories told about them, lives dedicated to finding the right one. When you share your life with someone, you create a whole new world of magic and bliss that neither of you would be able to experience without the other.
5. Relationships are only one aspect of a full, beautiful, satisfying life.
There are so many other sections in your beautiful life pie – your friendships, your passions, your livelihood. There are many roads that lead to the same destination: happiness and fulfilment. You can feel incredibly content without a relationship, or while you are 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, boyrfriend or lover. It’s simply one role you play in life. Your spirit, your incredible value to the Universe doesn’t change based on external factors like whether you have a partner, a house or a “successful” career.
7. It’s okay 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 to see if anyone can help you move apartments. It actually feels amazing to help other people out. The more everyone we open up and lean on each other, the stronger we will become collectively.
8. You have to be true to yourself.
Listen to your heart’s song. Dance to the beat of your own drum. Listen to that voice inside of you that has big and beautiful ideas about how you want to design your life. You will never quite succeed at suffocating it, no matter how many ways you try. (And thank Universe you can’t, because listening to your heart’s song is one of the hidden keys to happiness.)
9. True love exists.
I am incredibly grateful to have found it. I have found the yang to my yin; body, mind and soul.
10. Belief and faith is everything.
The world is a reflection of your dominant beliefs. If you fundamentally believe you won’t find someone, you won’t. If you believe relationships are incredibly challenging, they will be. If you believe in finding your twin soul and creating a life together – not hope that you will, but believe to the degree that you feel joy and gratitude for it in advance of it happening – you will. Keep believing, and the Universe will conspire on your behalf.
11. 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 mistepped or let yourself down. Especially when these things happen. 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 and nourished. Priotise them.
12. It doesn’t matter what other people think.
They don’t have to sleep in your bed at night, they don’t have to lay on your death bed swallowing your regrets. Maybe people will think your choices are amazing, maybe they will think you are crazy, maybe they will think it’s not what they would have done but they’ll love and support you anyway. So be it.
13. Give to give, not to receive.
There is something so beautiful about giving joyfully and unconditionally. To feel someone else’s happiness as your own. Think to yourself daily: I am so privileged to have this person in my life and I am going to jump on opportunities to make them smile, laugh and feel fulfilled.
14. People speak different languages of love.
Learn how to make your partner feel loved. Some people like soulful words, some people like being helped out, some people crave touch and affection, some people just want the simplicity of your company. The things that make you feel on-top-of- the-world-running-through-fields-of-sunflowers-in-love might not register to them.
15. Face problems and challenges with a team attitude.
It’s the You Guys vs. the Problem, not You vs. Your Partner. Remain a united front, and see the problem as a separate entitty ‘out there’ that you are both working to resolve.
16. Regret is a waste of energy and a misunderstanding of your path in life.
Mistakes are inevitable, you have to misstep to learn who you are. Don’t get caught up counting the days you lost. You have so many beautiful blank-page days ahead you can spend any way you like. Learn to let go.
17. You will survive.
And you will feel stronger. Because you have proven to yourself you can get through challenges, and you can rely on yourself.
18. It’s not too much to ask to find the right person.
In fact, it’s essential. They won’t be perfect, but they will be perfect for you.
19. There is a huge difference between comfortable silence and boredrom.
One is a sign of a beautiful, connected relationship. The other is a warning sign that something is off.
20. Reveal who you really are.
Your partner is going to find out who you are eventually. Or you will live one hell of an inhibited life hiding your soul. And you certainly can’t fly when you are wearing a heavy mask. It’s often people’s truest selves – their quirks, funny habits, their passions, fears and dreams – that we fall in love with the most. Be wholeheartedly, unapologetically you.
21. Spending time alone is amazing.
Get 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 realise what you learned from it and how it forced you to grow into a stronger, brighter version of you.
A shortened version of this post was originally published on Mind Body Green.