I was having drinks with a recently divorced friend the other night. She has just started dating in the past 6 months and her comment to me was – I just keep going through men, it’s like I find something wrong with every one of them. My reply – so? What’s the goal? If the shoe doesn’t fit you can’t make it. Or you’ll wind up miserable – again. Maybe instead of looking at it as “going through men”, look at it as an opportunity to learn more about what you need in your life right now.
I believe that people enter my life for a reason at the time in which I need them most. Some stay in my life longer than others. And each person has a lesson to teach me and a role to play in my life. There is a saying – when the student is ready the teach will appear. Teachers come in all forms – friends, co-workers, lovers, friends, colleagues, pets, family, etc. And if we allow ourselves to be open to the message, we can see what that persons purpose is in our life.
I have a very old friend. We have been close friends for over 25 years. And she drives my crazy. Spending time with her is nearly always a source of anxiety and frustration. I have learned over the years to limit my time with her to a few hours at a time. I ask myself from time to time – why do I do it? Why are we still friends? The first answer that comes to mind is – because we’ve been friends forever. Not a very good reason. So, I’ve decided it’s time to actually uncover what it is that I’m learning from this relationship and what keeps her in my life.
What I have discovered is this – through her I see myself more clearly. She is a mirror for me and as I look at the things in her that drive me nuts, I see things in myself. Where she is confrontational, I am passive, where she is opinionated I am open minded. She tends to see things only one way and has an unwavering definition of what is right, I see things from multiple angles and tend to have difficulty forming a strong opinion – which drives her nuts. She is a night owl, I like mornings. All in all it’s a crazy relationship and what I have learned is that she is still the one I turn to in certain times, times when I just want to be with a friend who really knows me, and takes me for what I am. There is no pretense, no judgement, no expectation between us. We just are.
So, as I reflect back my newly dating friend and her challenges I see each bad date as a lesson from a teacher. She has made some back choices in her life that have not served her well. Dating is like relationship university, each date teaches you something about yourself, about what you are willing to accept in your life and what you are willing to live without. Look into the mirror that that teacher is holding up for you. What do you see? What can you learn? and what will you avoid next time around?
Next time you find yourself in a frustrating situation with a relationship or new acquaintance grab on to that free education that they are offering you – look in the mirror – what are you learning?