I think it’s fair to say that we’re all affected by our interpersonal relationships, whether they are romantic or not. I have certainly been shaped by my experiences and the people I have known. I was reflecting on this after hearing a voice on the radio talking about “failed relationships”. A failed relationship usually means a relationship that was not seen to work and that has ended. But is there perhaps a different and more helpful way to look at it?
A few years ago, I had a very dear friend with whom I have stopped having contact. It would easy to say that she was “toxic” or a “bad friend”, but actually she taught me some very valuable lessons. She taught me about the necessity to resolve issues and to set boundaries. I will always be grateful for that. Besides, who am I to say that she was the bad friend? Perhaps it was the combination of the two of us that was unhealthy, or perhaps I was the bad friend?
Another friend gave me a favorite book of his and then walked out of my life. He gave me such a magnificent gift, the book truly changed my life. Books are so personal, they are thoughts and lives that stay with you forever. An idea, once it has been thought, can never be un-thought, only responded to. Although we’re no longer in touch, I will always love him for his kind gift.
A lover made my world spin and showed me there was magic all around, and then we parted. We had completed our time together, and were no longer beneficial to each other. I had learned so much in that time, about life and love and the loneliness of not being alone. I will always love him for the good times, and feel sad for the bad times – and they were many – that we also shared.
Speaking for myself, if I were to think of these as “failed relationships”, I would have failed to experience, explore and learn. I would have failed to have lived. Instead, I am choosing to see these relationships as over, completed or finished.
I sometimes try to understand how these interpersonal relationships have changed me, challenged me, tested my boundaries and made me richer. Perhaps the answer is in the journey, the process. We’re not complete as human beings until our lives are over, because we continue learning and growing until we die. And therefore it is important to savor our lessons, and to get something positive out of them.
Upon reflection I have then concluded that every one of my interpersonal relationships have been amazing. Successful, full of learning and challenges (that’s a good thing in my book). And sometimes they’re over. It’s as simple as that.
Finding the community of Cycle Harmony has made a huge difference to me. I am delighted to be writing to you from the Red Tent and hope to share thoughts and experiences you recognise, or find useful to ponder upon. I look forward to working with you all in exploring what it is to be women, and hope to hear from you. ~ Vild