Leona felt like she was a failure at friendships, as well as love, because she’d had so many relationships that had ended badly.
She’d been estranged from her son for many years, long-time friends left abruptly without any explanation and lovers disappeared in one way or another.
To say she was scared to let herself even hope she could have a close, lasting relationship of any kind was an understatement!
The fear that she’d be left once again and go through the pain that always came with feeling abandoned…
Kept her closed to even the idea of making new friends and opening to meeting a possible new partner.
When she saw how stuck and lonely she was, she reached out to us.
Here’s some of what she discovered about finding the gifts of failure during our conversations…
1. She’d been holding onto the pain of people leaving her
As she went about her day, Leona saw that her predominant thoughts were on the loss of those past relationships that had failed.
She’d been reliving every abandonment and had been keeping herself in a state of extreme anxiety and low self-worth.
Yes, it was true that those relationships had ended but she could see how her constant thoughts about them kept the overwhelming pain alive.
2. She realized that all relationships end at some time
When Leona stepped back from the hurt and thoughts that she’s a failure and always abandoned…
She saw that it’s natural for people to come and go in your life.
Some are briefly with you and some staying longer.
As she looked at her last intimate relationship, she saw that her boyfriend moving across the country to a new job he loved was the next natural step for him.
It wasn’t that he didn’t care for her..
But that he had an overwhelming urge to quit the profession he hated and do something more in alignment with who he felt he really was.
Leona could see that she didn’t have to take his leaving personnally and put the meaning on it that he didn’t care for her.
He was just strongly called in a different direction.
3. She didn’t need to change her painful thoughts of all her failures but could direct her attention to looking in a different direction
The direction we suggested she look in was finding the gifts in those relationships that supposedly had failed.
At first, she couldn’t even imagine finding any so-called gifts in what she’d experienced…
But as we talked she saw a glimmer of how this could be helpful.
Leona had spent many years wondering why a friend she’d been very close to had abruptly refused to answer her calls, emails or texts.
She’d been left mulling over what she’d done wrong to push her friend away like that.
Now she saw that looking within herself for those answers was useless and would never give her what she wanted.
She will probably never know why this friend left but she could look in another direction instead.
She realized that one of the gifts from that relationship was that she’d rediscovered her love for making art.
Leona and her friend had spent hours making collages, drawing and painting that was so much a part of her life now.
When she rested in gratitude for that relationship and for others as well, she could feel herself relaxing and anxiety leaving her body.