Being grateful for your past relationships, even the most painful ones, is the key to opening yourself up to the possibility of a better relationship experience. The question is: How can we bring ourselves to be grateful for something that caused us pain, humiliation and/or abuse? And what is there to be grateful for anyway?
Every relationship happens for a reason — to help us grow. Thus, we have two options: either we can choose to understand the lesson that we we're supposed to learn and cherish the wisdom that we acquired from the situation, or we can remain in the land of victimhood and accumulate emotional baggage while attracting the same type of relationships over and over again.
Remember yourself 20 years ago. What's different about you now? All the negative and painful experiences that you had left their mark on you. If you chose to learn from them, they made you stronger and more independent; but most importantly, they positioned you for a better relationship in the future by creating a strong drive to experience something different.
Negative relationship experiences are simply a way life poses a question to us: If this is not what you want, then what is? What can you do differently in order to avoid this situation in the future? The more shocking and painful the situation, the stronger it imprints in our subconscious mind the need to avoid people and behavior patterns that are likely to put us in a similar position again.
This is the mechanism that helps us accumulate wisdom and gives us guidance on how to act in order to create a perfect relationship. This is what we should be grateful for. By expressing gratitude towards our former partners, we acknowledge the value that we have received from our past relationships and protect ourselves from ever repeating negative patterns.
The problem is it's hard to see it that way when you are in the middle of a painful breakup. How can we let go of resentment and judgment towards people who hurt us and feel grateful instead? Sounds like an impossible task ... but it isn't.
First, you need to accept the negative emotions that you are experiencing in the moment. Allow yourself to feel them fully, but also know that they will pass. Don't try to make them go away. They will only persist if you do. Just wait until they run their course. Then, step out of the situation and see the bigger picture.
Imagine yourself a year from now looking back at this experience. Will it have the same significance for you then? What are the nuggets of wisdom you can take from this relationship that will make a difference in your future life? It's up to you to choose what this new life is going to be like.
Create a vision of a new relationship that will enter your life when you are ready. Realize that the current negative pattern you are experiencing is a springboard into your new life. Fill yourself with gratitude towards the situation and the person who caused it.