It is often said that when it comes to toxic behaviour in relationships we tend to choose the same person (personality and character traits) over and over; they’re just presented in a different package. It’s easy to think that because your “type” has changed physically, then things are supposed to be different. We often realise too little too late that we’ve been stuck in unhealthy and toxic relational environments, whether that’s romantic or friendship wise. I remember I used to have a “best friend” and I thought I knew her but I was left questioning whether or not I even knew her real name (especially when she suddenly had a new birthday, 9 months apart from the one we’d always celebrated.)
This occurrence only contributed more to my trust issues, I could no longer trust “my friends”, how could I? Most of us can relate, it may not have been a friend that hurt you, it could’ve been that situationship that caused you pain and anguish. Maybe it was that sibling that always made you feel insecure or the parent that you felt never showed you enough love or the childhood trauma that was brushed under the carpet. Whatever it is, left undealt with, negative emotions are a breeding ground for toxic behaviour in relationships. For years I had a victim mentality, I was always the one that got hurt but never seemed to hurt anyone else. I magnified my pain and simplified everyone else’s, I never listened and was quick to defend my position whenever someone tried to address my flaws. I soon developed this “men are trash” mentality and I developed an emotional barrier (which my friends say I still have). I began to only develop surface relationships and friendships to protect myself- I’m sure you can relate. You find common ground with people, but you never let it get past that, you make them feel like they know you, without revealing too much information (a pseudo-relationship).
However, we were created to relate; not only with God but with His people. God declares in His Word that “it is not good for man to be alone”, yes we use this scripture mostly for romantic relationships but it is most definitely applicable to all areas. Even the bible says that God dwells amid 2 or more people. However, relationships in our world are shattered & broken, we cannot begin to relate to one another unless we first fix the broken pieces of our selves. “Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Therefore, I besiege you to take time to self-introspect, what is it that you’ve done to contribute to toxic behaviour in your relationships? How have you kept yourself in never-ending cycles? What is it that’s broken within yourself that habitually keeps you returning to the very thing that broke you and Abba delivered you from? Is it insecurity or lack of self-worth? Is it the loss of hope or faith? Whatever it is, maybe it’s time to renew your mindset. We must first love ourselves, the good and the work in progress because it is those very things that God wants to use for His glory. Hurt and broken souls only produce the same results, we are called to love our neighbours. Let us answer that calling with a willing and cheerful heart. It is only when we give that we receive not just from God and people but from within ourselves. Let’s not let our past hold us back from releasing the good that we can give. The bad we experience is only to show us that we need to play our role in fighting evil with good – anonymous.
Peace and Blessings 🙂