Wednesday, July 10, 2013
An Ounce of Prevention: "20 Signs You've Broken Your Toxic Relationships Pattern"
Toxic means poisonous. Poisonous means means harmful and destructive. Harmful means capable of causing *moral* or physical injury, mental damage, evil or hurt. Oh, and just for the record, the word "moral" means following the rules of right conduct. That's a part of the reason why I appreciate I Corinthians 15:33(AMP): "Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character." That's a live and in living color bible verse that speaks to not only the importance of avoiding toxic relationships but (eh hem) making sure that you yourself are not a toxic individual. It also reveals "the fruit" (Matthew 12:33) of what you'll be like if you're in one---whether romantically or platonically.
So yeah. That's why I really like an article that I checked out last night entitled "20 Signs You've Broken Your Toxic Relationships Pattern". It's a good way to know if you've grown and also a smart checklist to see in what areas you still have a bit more work to do:
1) You accept yourself fully (as you are now) even while wanting to change parts of yourself.
2) You take full responsibility for your own behavior, own choices and own life.
3) You do not adapt yourself to try and fit into "uncomfortable" situations and relationships.
4) You recognize that you are a worthy person and your fulfillment is as important as anyone else.
5) You are in touch with your feelings, needs and desires and do not need a man/woman to bring out the fully expressive, creative and affectionate you. You do that with yourself and you get a real kick out of it.
6) You are taking risks; meeting new and different people and learning more of what life wants to teach you about yourself through others.
7) You are freed from the overwhelming responsibility of fixing others. No one has to change in order for you to feel good or get on with the business of living.
8) You are less needy, less worried, less anxious, less angry, less hostile, less forceful, less submissive, less confrontational, less selfish and less self-destructive.
9) You are more realistic in your expectations of yourself and of others. You no longer pressurize people for more of what they don't have (time, closeness, sensitivity, romance, fidelity, material stuff, etc.) or give him/her too much of what he/she does not necessarily want and then become angered and hurt when he/she does not seem to appreciate it.
10) You are more able to relax and enjoy yourself and others. This allows others to relax and enjoy themselves around you.
11) You've let go of playing games: calculating, manipulating, putting on a great spectacular show of "loving" him/her, the chasing and running away. You are more relaxed and honest, and let the rest take care of itself.
12) You are pursuing your interests, hobbies and dreams.
13) You have a circle of supportive friends and family while at the same time avoiding dysfunctional relationships and energy drainers---people who sabotage your growth by wanting you to remain the same so that they can remain the same.
14) You can trust more and can more comfortably let down your protection against being really hurt and allow a man/woman to see and love you for who you really are.
15) You no longer use your sexuality as a tool to control intimacy and relationships. You now allow yourself to be sexual as a way of deepening your knowledge of each other.
16) You allow yourself to be loved because you already love yourself. If there is lots of love already in there, it is much easier to receive and accept love that comes from outside of you.
17) You know that a good relationship takes work and time to grow and are willing to put in effort and time but at the same time know when to let go if it's not working---to let go without experiencing disabling depression.
18) You don't need to find a partner who is the opposite of you to bring balance into your life. Instead you ask, "Does this relationship enable me to grow into all that I'm capable of being?"
19) You've learned to live your life without all of the "stress" and time-consuming and energy draining dramas of heated battles, begging, angry outbursts, parting and reconciling.
20) What once felt normal and familiar feels uncomfortable, awkward and unhealthy. When everything in you wants to take over, to advise and encourage, use praise to "raise" his/her self-esteem, or criticism to manipulate him/her, you easily hold yourself from responding in the old ways.
If it's toxic, it's poisonous and poison means you nothing but harm.
That's actually what it's created to do: HARM. YOU.