Toxic relationship are all around us. They are more common than the satisfactory ones. We’ve encountered them in just about every aspect of life – love, family, friends, career, health or politics. The best way to recognize if you have a toxic relationship in your life is by measuring the ratio between the amount of energy you pour into it and the amount you get back. It the ratio is positive than you are in a good relationship. But if the ratio is negative, then you have a toxic one.
Good relationships are very rare to find. If you have those in your life, treasure and nurture them because they are very fragile. The focus of my blog, however, is not to teach you how to enjoy the good relationships but instead on how to “enjoy” the benefits of the toxic ones.
You are probably looking at the screen with a confused face right now. Well, allow me to expand on my point and I promise that by the end of this blog, you’ll perfectly understand the lesson I’m about to share with you.
I’ll ask you to take 5 minutes away from this blog and think about your past. Think about the instances when someone did you wrong…underestimated you…took you for granted…disrespected you…humiliated you…told you weren’t good enough/smart enough/pretty enough…wanted to change/mold you…cheated on you or betrayed you. That person could be anyone from a friend…to a spouse…to a parent…to a teacher/coach…to an employer…to a neighbor…even illness that surprised you unexpectedly. If you have lived long enough, you could probably name a dozen of instances when someone has hurt you. Now, eliminate the times when you actually did something wrong and earned the harsh treatment back. FOCUS on the times when you did everything right, had your best intentions at heart, worked as hard as you could and STILL got hurt at the end.
The next thing I’d like you to do is think about YOUR reaction the unfortunate circumstance. How did it affect you? Did your life get better or worse because of the toxic relationship? Did you blame yourself for the outcome? Did you blame them? Or did you move on, forgave and continue with your life? What did you do?
Most people out there put too much energy trying to turn a toxic relationship into a positive one. They think that if they work a little harder, if they love a little stronger, if they sacrifice a little more, if they hang in there a little longer…sooner or later the relationship will improve. They spend so much time and effort on it that it consumes their whole being. When finally things get so bad that the other person cuts the cord before them, they fall into a deep depression and despair. How could they do this to me after all the good thing I have done for them?…they say.
Unfortunately, that’s not the worst part of a toxic relationship. That’s only the beginning of inner hell. What’s even worse than being hurt by those you loved, believed in and invested time in…is that you allow your toxic relationship to affect ALL future relationships in your life. You shut down your emotions, bury your love away, lose your faith completely and build a thick shell around you that no one and nothing could ever penetrate! At that point, you might as well claim yourself as dead because life is no longer worth living according to your outlook.
But did you ever wonder what was the REAL purpose of the toxic relationship? Did you ever venture of to a different point of view? Did you ever consider reading the fine print of your toxic relationship? I DID! And here is what I’ve learned from the 27 years living and experiencing toxic relationships in my life.
Every single toxic relationship has ONE big lesson to teach you. Whether it worked out or not, the lesson must be learned or you’ll keep on repeating the same toxic relationship in the future. Every great pain offers great clarity. It teaches you how strong and resilient you really are. If you rise above the emotions and the guilt, you will see that those who hurt you the most were your biggest teachers in life!
They taught you self-love and self-appreciation. They taught you to respect and value yourself. They taught you not to compromise your happiness and personal freedom. They taught you how to appreciate life more. They taught you that you deserve more. They taught you that you still have a lot of love to give. They taught you how to forgive. They taught you how to be independent. They taught you what you really want and don’t want in life.
They made you stronger, smarter, wiser and more determined to succeed than ever before.
While you may think toxic relationships set you back, in the long run, they only push you forward faster than you could’ve pushed yourself. If you learn how to use them properly, they can be the “fuel” to your success. Don’t look at the present situation. Look passed it. Because 10 years from now, those who hurt you will still be where you left them…while you will be at a much better, safer and more rewarding place in your life.
So my dear friends, thank your toxic relationships for making you a fighter. See the blessing in them and appreciate it when it happens. Don’t beat yourself over for failing to make a toxic relationship work. Don’t withdraw your love and kindness from the world because someone toxic didn’t appreciate it. Don’t stop believing in yourself because someone toxic didn’t believe in you. Don’t sit and dwell on the toxic past.
MOVE ON! Be the better person. Claim your power back. And get excited about your future.
© 2007 Zoe Vaklinova – All Rights Reserved