by Kristen Crockett
by Kristen Crockett
(ebook) Click HERE to have your ebook signed by the author.
(Excerpt from The Gift of Past Relationships, available on Amazon)
LEARNING FROM YOUR PAST
As a kid, our mistakes, scrapes, and bruises pushed us to conquer our fears. Our scars on our knees and elbows taught us when to let go of the monkey bars at just the right time to make it across. And our sore wrists and dirty jeans taught us how to jump out of a swing at the perfect height to land on our feet. Falling down simply meant that we had to figure out a better way to accomplish what we wanted.
But sometime after elementary school, our fears took control. Our childhood monkey bars turned into adult relationships. We traded our physical pain for emotional scars. Our scrapes, bruises, and falls evolved into broken trust, bruised hearts, and unrequited love. Instead of being motivated by our past relationships, we began to dwell in them, repeat them, or avoid them altogether.
But just as our playground experiences taught us a lesson in perseverance; our past relationships grant us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and our needs. Failed relationships can be a catalyst for change if we allow our failures to teach us rather than hinder us. We know what we want, by what we did not receive. We know how we desire to be treated by how we allowed someone to treat us.
Throughout the following chapters, you will begin to explore who you are and what you need. You will examine the factors and characteristics that are important to you in a relationship. And you will have the opportunity to discover more about yourself, including your patterns, communication style, emotional triggers, and other aspects which encourage self-awareness and ultimately lead to a healthy and compatible relationship.
If you are single, the chapters and exercises will give you a better idea of who you are and what you need in order to be happy in a relationship. Being aware of who you are enables you to choose relationship partners who are better suited for you and means you are less likely to overstay your welcome in a stale relationship.
If you are currently in a relationship, this book will provide you with ways to use your past to strengthen your relationship. It will enable you to understand more about how you operate as a couple. Whether you choose to complete the exercises alone or as a couple, you will be able to identify aspects of your relationship that you would like to improve.
After reading this book, you will have the necessary tools to make positive choices and be in charge of your own happiness. You will gain clarity on how your past has impacted your relationships, what patterns you have developed, and what you need to find the love you deserve.
THE NINE-LETTER RELATIONSHIP KILLER
There are times when something does not sit right with us. We are bothered by certain qualities possessed by our mate or by particular things that they do. Our conscience tells us that something is not right. And yet we stay with the person, or excuse away our feelings, because we are hoping that they will change. Or we see something special in them that they don’t see. It’s a little nine-letter word otherwise known as potential.
We’ve all done it. We walk into a relationship viewing the other person through our “if” glasses: he would be perfect IF he wasn’t so insecure; she would be perfect IF she had a little more ambition. And then we proceed to ignore glaring red flags because of our mate’s potential to be something else. Months later, the potential never manifests into anything but potential. And we have stayed in a relationship because of what someone could be, instead of who they are.
Potential has no place in a relationship. When someone enters your life, they come in with specific characteristics, values, ideas, and beliefs. And people change very little in relationships. So if you don’t like what you see at the beginning, you won’t like it at the end. Who they are, what they believe, and how they see themselves, remains relatively constant.
If an individual is addicted to alcohol or drugs, your desire for them to get clean won’t lead them to sobriety. Loving them, wanting it for them, or supporting them won’t change their future unless they make up their mind to become clean.
The same is true for most other aspects or characteristics about a person. If someone enters a relationship with a temper, they leave with one. If they enter without motivation to pursue school or a career, motivation doesn’t just magically appear because you want it to. Whether an individual lacks integrity or ambition, or whether they are dishonest, messy, or refuse to apologize, don’t expect that any of these things will change. Because no matter what kind of future you see for someone else, it makes no difference if they don’t see it for themselves.
When you talk to couples who are happy, most of them will tell you that they accept their mate just the way they are. That doesn’t mean that they are happy with everything that their partner does. It just means that they don’t make an attempt to change them.
We don’t intentionally set out to be with someone who has the “if” glasses on when they look at us (she would be great if she lost weight; he would be great if he didn’t watch sports so much). Ultimately, we all want to be with someone who likes the way we look, enjoys our sense of humor, and makes us feel good about who we are today. Our partners also want the same thing. So if you run across something that you really want to change in someone, think about going the rest of your life without saying a word about it. If you can’t envision that scenario, take that into consideration and think about what that really means. Determine if it’s worth the time and emotional investment along with the stress and frustration of having to ignore that one particular thing. A huge part of being in a happy and healthy relationship is accepting someone for who they are today, not tomorrow, not next month, and not in two years.