There is no such thing as a toxic relationship. I am offended by the word ‘toxic’. Toxins, or poisons, are used to eradicate and eliminate unwanted pests.
Every relationship can bring out the best or the worst in us. The other party shows up in the best version of themselves. They are unaware that the best version of themselves may bring about a reaction in you.
Have you ever had an experience where you thought you were willing and wanted to help someone and then were met with a reaction of the opposite expectation?
Two wounds interact with one another. Your ‘act of kindness’ may be rooted in an injury within yourself. The ‘act of kindness’ may be an intention of healing for yourself and the other. The other picks up on your act of kindness from a wounded position and thus reacts from their own wounded space.
However, when your act of kindness is met with gratitude, there is no need for healing, as the relationship is now rooted in wholeness. The feeling of fullness is expanded and enjoyed by both parties. Both parties gain and bring out the best in one another.
Every wound that a person holds within themselves has the potential of interacting with an injury of another. When two wounds collide, the reaction may be tumultuous. The flow of reacting from one harm to the other creates the hurt, pain, and destruction we experience. You may refer to this as a toxic relationship. Both parties have equal rights to live life to their fullest potential. Both parties are responsible for acknowledging how their wounds interact with another’s wounds, creating a heated explosion or implosion.
Any relationship starts with at least one person.
That person is you!
Whatever you experience as abuse from another brings up your wounds and may result in abuse as a return to the other. You may feel, “But I am innocent”. You only remain innocent when the misuse is met with non-reaction. Does that mean that you allow the continuation of this abuse? No! What would happen if you asked yourself, “I wonder what brokenness in you allowed you to treat me like this”. Most abusers live in denial of hurt and pain within themselves. Abusing another helps them to control their brokenness. It is sad for all parties in this environment.
The path from brokenness to wholeness needs a bridge.
When we acknowledge our brokenness and the brokenness in the other, this awareness allows separation from the other’s brokenness while focusing on healing our own.