Relationships Are Our Biggest Teachers: My Top 3 Lessons
“Relationships are spiritual assignments” – A Course in Miracles
I remember reading this quote the first time I began A Course in Miracles and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. Yes, my everyday relationships with family and friends offered me mini lessons if I stopped to think about it, but I didn’t do that often. It required a level of self-awareness and intentionality that I just didn’t have yet.
Plus, let’s face it, I was still in that place of blaming others, thinking I was always right, and stubbornly stuck, viewing the other person as the problem.
They need to fix themselves and change their behavior because OMG it’s annoying the heck out of meeee! Alright, I confess this immature behavior doesn’t look so good to be publically proclaiming. But it’s where I was - in a place of not standing up and taking responsibility for how I felt and acted in the world.
Recently with my romantic partner, this whole ‘relationships-teach-us-stuff’ idea was slamming me over the head. Everything he did got on my nerves. I would explode for no real reason, was reactionary to all circumstances and had sucked pretty much all the joy out of the relationship . Whoops.
Things felt out of my control and I freaked.
I needed to put order and structure to my days and was worried about losing my independence. But after placing all responsibility, blame, and reason on external circumstances, a few wise individuals oriented me back towards my own Self. The one that needed to step up her game.
Here’s a few things I’ve been learning through relationship:
1. Relationships are mirrors.
Whatever you are criticizing the other person for? Maybe turn things around and start to see how you are showing up. Are you demonstrating the same behaviors? Strikingly similar negative thoughts and beliefs? Usually, we dislike these things about ourselves too, it’s just easier to push them down and place fault on others.
2. You are your own damn responsibility.
In theory, I understood another person can’t offer me happiness. Still, I had a lot of expectations of what they should be offering me. Flip that story. What can you give yourself? If it’s love you are looking for, how do you show that to yourself? How can you cultivate those feelings in your own life?
3. Act from a place of unconditional love.
When you place conditions on your love or you keep score like I do (trying to stop, I swear!), things become transactional, competitive and just plain ugly. Love doesn’t flow organically if someone is always nagging you because you forgot to take out the trash… Recognize wherever you are placing external factors on your relationship. Reconnect with your core that is unconditional love; it’ll offer the stability and centeredness to act from a place of peace, calm, and alignment.
Friend, this is still a major work-in-progress for me. So be patient with yourself. I have to make a conscious effort every day to choose positive thoughts and see love instead of fear and negativity in my relationship. So there’s hope for you too! Keep at it!
I’d love to hear your big lessons from relationship in the comments below!
 I blame birth control. Just kidding. Maybe not. OK, I admit, I’m responsible for this.