We live in a world and in a time where there seems to be so much toxic around us. Not just food, but water, the air we breathe, and even relationships in our lives can be toxic. I for one believe that a toxic relationship can cause just as much physical harm to our bodies and minds as could the wrong foods, substance abuse and smoking. I’m sure some of you disagree but bear with me.
When I take a look back at the toxic relationships I have had in the past, I see a pattern. Relationships feed us. Whether that relationship is feeding us wholesome, nutritious and healthy food, or pure fake food, full of empty deceiving calories all depends on how healthy the relationship is.
I have found that the relationships that feed me a “nutrient-dense shot of healthy love and companionship” have always encouraged me to live a better life, do better for myself, make better decisions and make healthy choices. I have noticed in these relationships I look more vibrant when I’m in them, feel a great deal of positivity while in them and there is an exchange of love and encouragement that flows between each of us. These are the people I like to share my passions with, walk in nature with, and also feel safe enough to share my secrets and pain with. These relationships are far and few between. These relationships are very rare as may only happen once or twice in an entire lifetime. Some are very blessed and have a life full of relationships like this, and some may have none – but don’t be weary, it isn’t hard too find. It all depends on what you think you deserve, and how much you love yourself.
On the other hand, there are the relationships we have that do not support us. We are in them for various reasons; none of them being because we know they are great companions. We may just be in these relationships simply because they fill a void in our heart; a hole that this person fits into well. Instead of choosing to allow God to fill that void, embrace ourselves, and love ourselves more than that person could, we stay in it. We subconsciously yet intentionally punish ourselves in unhealthy relationships. We can tell they are unhealthy by how we feel in them. Instead of the nutrient-rich food the healthy relationship feeds us, this relationship feeds us junk. And it’s evident because the longer you stay in it- the more unhappy you are in various areas of your life and the further you maybe pushed from your goals and interests.
The unhealthy relationship can distract you from everything that is good for you. It can contribute to you making even more unhealthy decisions in order to cope (sometimes just by pure bad influence). Bad food choices, substance abuse, taking your anger out on loved ones, crushed motivation, depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem and just plain out not caring about yourself anymore. Do you see how this affects us physically? All of the bad decisions we make as a result of a bad relationship does affect our physical health. We don’t make the best decisions when we are deeply involved in unhealthy relationships. We aren’t intentionally choosing to love ourselves. We aren’t even trying . Gods love for us is immeasurable, and He wants us to love ourselves.
Sometimes unhealthy relationships aren’t the fault of either party. Sometimes; and I find this can be quite common, both parties and great people who just don’t mesh well. Sometimes it’s just a matter of personalities that don’t fit together and don’t bring out the best in each other. This can be a hard one to figure out but time always shows truth. And regardless, you have to step back and look at your relationships. Take a hard and long look at them. Try to be unbiased if you can for just a moment and dig in. Do some evaluation of your own heart, and then ask yourself “is this relationship serving my heart and steering me closer to God, or hurting my heart and steering me further from God”.
What is that relationship doing for you? Does it build up or break down? Does it help you move forward or does it hold you back? Is it accusational, irrational and turbulent, or is it full of peace and acceptance of who you are? Does it frustrate you or get frustrated with you or accept you? Does it make you feel good about yourself or does it CONSTANTLY criticize? Is it forced? Are you in it because it “just makes sense” or because “It looks great on the outside”?
Take a deep and loving look inside if you aren’t feeling comfortable, and ask yourselves these questions, life is too short to pend your precious time with someone who is going to be toxic to us, regardless of the “Why’s” …