Being in practice for the past decade there are certain clients who come it to see me that are in toxic relationships that they feel are full of love and care wanting to believe that this is the fact when the evidence proves otherwise. Sad but true in too many clients who have lack of self-esteem for whatever the reason, they find themselves subjugated to the untenable, demeaning behavior and commentary of that person who is at the very center of their affections. Sometimes with horrific ramifications as a result of this toxic relationship.
In these cases the client will come in telling me how much in love s/he is with their partner. As we go through the Detailed Personal History the story of myriad situations where the mood shifts, threats and condescending remarks hurled in my client’s direction for no apparent reason have been a recurring theme throughout the relationship. Sure, couples can and do get into arguments and disagreements, however this is very different then allowing yourself to be bullied by that person who one moment tells you how much they love you as they lean on your for comfort and assistance one moment and then in the next goes on to take every ounce of your dignity which allows you to calmly and effectively navigate yourself through this life.
Let me explain to you what is an unhealthy relationship versus a healthy relationship so that you don’t find yourself feeling so bad about yourself that you would prefer to ask a co-worker for some pain killers to rid yourself, maybe permanently from the pain you are in from a temporary problem. A problem that is able to be contended with even if it is the last thing on this earth that you want to deal with given all the mixed emotions involved.
An unhealthy relationship is any time you find yourself in a conversation with your beloved, where you are feeling lousy as a result of something that was uttered in your direction. An unhealthy relationship is one in which you feel that you always have to defend yourself, especially if it is for a trespass such as a lie or over sight that you have already apologized for in the past. An unhealthy relationship is one where mental health labels are placed on you in accounting your behaviors when in truth this person has no training or insight into what those labels actually mean as used by a professional. An unhealthy relationship is one where you are always feeling “down” or out of control of your own life. And most especially when you feel that you have to constantly demonstrate your love to the other to the point where you are no longer taking care of your own needs – forgetting to get your license to drive renewed, getting your own bills paid instead of helping the other with their financial obligations, caring more about their health and well being if they are dealing with a chronic or acute health issue be it physical, emotional or both while you ignore your own mental health and physical well being totally usurped in your mates issues. Lastly, finding yourself lying to this other person fearful of being the target of their wrath for some injustice you may have done against them in that mind of theirs. Walking on egg shells is not and never will be a sign of a healthy relationship. It is instead a sign of a dead relationship that needs to be ended as soon as possible.
A healthy relationship is where honesty and trust is at the very core. It is a relationship where the coming together of two souls as one give the feeling of something larger and more important than the two separate lives would be, yet allowing for each of you to be yourselves doing those things that bring each of you comfort, enjoyment and fulfillment feeling supported by one another in those endeavors. A healthy relationship is where intimacy is something profound and yet, where each understands that the idiosyncrasies that each has are there to remind us that we too have our own to be contended by our mate. To be loved for those aspects of ourselves that drive us nuts, in what could only be expressed as unconditional love and acceptance – that my readers is what “love” is inside a primary relationship and among friends and relatives. It is that knowing that the relationship is special, nurturing and respectful of our whole being.
If you find yourself moving through life and some of these relationships change, it means that one or the other of you has changed. Take an inventory of your life and see if it is you who may need to do a bit more inner work to get back on track, or maybe to see if maybe one or you has out grown the other. This can and will occur if we are perpetually motivated to make our lives better. This is especially true when we are dealing with confronting our naked selves on a soul level as we work to clear out the pain and frustrations of the past, taking a sincere inventory of where we have been including accountability to those we may have harmed on our path including most importantly our self. It is, by no means a reason for one to feel poorly about one’s self for it is only the strongest of people who even think of the idea of the need to do this very important work, instead of continuing to blame everyone else in their life for the misery that they feel.
It is for those of you who understand that your life is to be reconciled for your own health and well being that this blog posting was written. Those of you who understand that your life is in your own hands to rectify the ills allowing the creation of that which is worthy of your time here on this earth. Regardless of anything that you may have done in your past there are only two sources that have the right to place a judgment on you: God the almighty the Creator (if you believe in this Source of all that is and ever will be and the judge’s that are employed in the court system of the country in which you live to ensure justice. Though there is one other person who has the right to decide if you are worthy the most important of all, and that is you, yourself – for it is only you that can make the decision to change that which isn’t working to that which can work better than one ever could have imagined if willing to do the internal work required.
In my decade of work I have worked with ex-cons, drug addicts, sex addicts, eating disordered, gang members, lost and destructive teens, schizophrenics, suicidal depressives and more. All of them had to reconcile themselves with their past, forgiving themselves and anyone who may have hurt them in some fashion. It is only through true forgiveness that the lightness of feeling and brightness of the potential you have is freed allowing for a new ray of sunshine pointing out the new directions that are now possible.
This is an important message because just this week I had a client who had gone to the depths of desperation working so hard to over come his own shortcomings only to be repeatedly told be his beloved how worthless and harmful he is to her and yet, all he wanted was to prove that he was worthy. My question to him was: Worthy of what? To be beaten down so far as to feel castrated by this same woman who admittedly is going though her own hell now? Worthy of being pushed so low he just wanted to end his psychic pain befallen on him by her harsh words and deeds without placing any sort of responsibility on her for her untenable behavior?
My message is very simple: There is never and will never be a time that no matter what horrible thing you may have done do you need to believe that this is the sum total of your being. It is up to you to realize that you are much more than that and to go about your business of correcting whatever may have brought this sort of assessment of you from past actions. You behavior is not the same as who you are, nor is it something that is locked in stone. I have worked with people with unbelievably sad histories, who have ended up in situations that perhaps they would rather not have and yet, given the chance to realize the magnificent soul inside them, just needing to know that it is safe to come out and be realized, amazing lives have been returned.
Please do yourself a favor. If you find yourself feeling beaten down, down to the point past feeling depressed, to the point where you can’t go on any more, seek out some professional help and then do your best to follow that person’s advise for they are objective to your situation and will let you know what needs to happen. If you are told to leave the situation, then by all means do whatever it takes to make that happen so you need not be in the situation that my client has found himself in. He is doing better now, though till he releases himself from the toxic person he is with, it will be a struggle for him. This is the reality of life. Make sure you do better for yourself.
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