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Relationships Are Your Greatest Teachers

I always knew that I learn from others, but I did not realize until later in my life that my relationships are my greatest teachers. I have been interested in personal and spiritual growth since I could remember. I read many books, attended many workshops and lectures, and tried to soak up all of the self-help and spiritual information that was available to me. I spent a large percentage of my life trying to get to know myself through the teachings of others. I never really found what I was looking for that way. In fact, I believe I went through a self-help overdose. In the meantime, I was dismissing most of my relationships, avoiding many individuals who I felt did not have good energy. Never, did I ask myself why I was attracting such people to my life.

It was not until I learned later that we can only know ourselves through others, that I understood the power of my relationships. Our relationships are reflections of what we hold inside ourselves. If you have a lot of complaining people in your life, then you need to look at the thoughts that run through your mind. If you describe most of your relationships as conflictual or painful, then there is something within you that is attracting conflict and pain. The relationships we have, teach us what is going on inside. Sometimes, these relationships are only in our lives in order for us to heal. I like to believe that my soul attracts the people in my life in order for it to grow in expression. When my soul gets what it needs, then the relationships either ends or is redefined. I no longer have to avoid certain relationships. If they no longer reflect who I am, the relationship naturally ends. It is amazing how that works.

So look around you and pay attention to your close relationships. How do you feel about them? What words would you use to describe them? Now, think carefully about yourself and ask yourself--what it is about you that attracted these relationships?

For example, I have always attracted bullies as friends since I was young and into my adulthood. I have always felt incredible tension around them and never wanted to upset them, but they always considered me their best friend. I could never understand it until I asked myself, what it was about me that attracted bullies. I realized that bullies do not like confrontation, they like their targets to be fearful and quiet. They sensed something in me that never made me a target, but I do hate confrontation, I was very quiet and fearful of many things. Bullies were showing up in my life to teach me to stand up for myself, use my big girl voice—scream if I need to, and be courageous in life. Now, I thank every friend I ever had as a bully for teaching me how to live aloud. If another one comes along, it will be a signpost that I am falling back into an old pattern.

In all the years of my self-help and spiritual training, it was not until I looked deeply at my relationships, that I understood who I truly am. Once I began healing what I needed to and taking steps in the direction my soul wanted to go, I began to live my life as me and every relationship I have reflects that truth.

What are your relationships teaching you?

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