We can see our relationships as rich ground for our learning on Planet Earth. Other people are our teachers and there is always a choice about how we respond to their lessons.
Our most generous and loving teachers show us compassion and kindness. They dont expect us to be perfect, or to measure up to their ideas of right and wrong. We can take advantage of their love and be demanding or ungrateful, expecting them to serve us and fit their lives around our desires, or we can be truly grateful and use them as a model for the way in which we treat others.
Our harsher teachers also give us a choice. We can reflect on the way their criticism makes us feel and allow ourselves to be put down or held back, or we can decide to honour ourselves and develop our own sense of self worth, independent of the opinion of others. We can be harsh to others, mirroring the treatment we have received, or we can consciously strive to be kinder, more understanding and compassionate.
Both types of teacher, the kind and the harsh, have their roles to play in our self development. We can use almost any relationship for our learning if we are prepared to reflect upon it. I believe we do choose our teachers, usually members of our own soul group, before we incarnate. It is hard for some people to imagine choosing the families they were born into, but there will have been a reason for that choice. Do bear in mind that just as you may have opportunities to learn from those around you, they may be learning from you
For example perhaps you were a free spirit born into a straight laced family. Perhaps you needed to accept that sometimes there are good reasons for rules and regulations? However maybe you were needed there because some of the rigidity needed to be challenged. Has your presence stirred things up?
If you stand back and look at your relationships with some detachment you may perceive a higher purpose to aspects of your life where you would normally fall into blame or self destructive thought patterns. Look for the lessons. What nuggets of wisdom can you glean from your relationships?
If you feel you have difficulties in a relationship right now then consider what choices you have. The easy option is to moan and complain about the other person. Is that helpful, or are you externalising the problem so that you dont need to change or do anything about it? The ego likes to apportion blame and make judgements. Is your ego running your thought patterns or are you open to the wisdom of your Higher Self?
A key turning point in our learning comes when we take responsibility for our lives. If you dont like the way someone is treating you it is time to communicate that and negotiate change, or step out of their lives and form healthier relationships elsewhere. Remember that it takes two people to have a relationship, so reflect upon how you created the issue, or whether you have perpetuated or exacerbated it with your own behaviour. These things are rarely one sided!
Remember that even in a difficult relationship there will be some learning that can serve you. Your lesson may be to stand up for yourself, to be more flexible, forgiving, compassionate, demonstrative, to set clearer boundaries, be more attentive, self-reliant, develop self-worth, just to list some of the rich potential for self development.