Letting go of toxic relationships
‘Cause baby I’m tired, I’m tired of the fight
I’m tired of the lonely days and the dark endless nights
It’s taken some time ‘cause I didn’t know if I could ever let you go
You helped me figure it out, I’m better off alone
Oh, I’m better off alone, yes, I am
Better Off Alone, Katharine McPhee
Last week, Family and Religion focused on moving past conflicts in a relationship. It was pointed out that all efforts should be made to save the investment made in the merging of two lives.
However, there will be times when there is no saving a relationship. The cords will just have to be cut.
According to motivational speaker, author, and minister Paul A. Blake, when the time comes to cut the cords, “if it is toxic, let it go”.
Pointing out that as human beings, persons tend to want to hold on to things, even if they are not good for them, Blake said that one of the drawbacks to living an abundant life is investing in unhealthy relationships.
“Relationships are a part of the human experience. We all need them to survive, but the toxic ones we can do without. We should never become so dependent on another person that we allow them to dictate the terms of our happiness. If we claim that relationship is serving our best interest and yet it is not bringing out the best in us, something is lacking,” Blake told Family & Religion.
He noted that if the people we invite into our space are not making us feel alive and worthy, then something is wrong. He stressed that healthy relationships should bring us to the place where we want to continue pressing on despite the challenges ahead.
What is a Toxic Relationship
“It should not be that when we think of the people we are involved with, we feel pain, distress, heartache, and myriad health problems. If this is happening, then the conclusion is that our relationships are toxic and need to go only where waste can survive,” Blake pointed out.
Stressing the importance of caring for one’s own needs and not placing another’s well-being over one’s well- being, Blake said that nobody should be so important to you that you are willing to be their prisoner, whether emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, or otherwise.
He made mention of relationship manipulators who invest in keeping others captive and said that they are nothing short of selfish and will always take much more than they are willing to give.
“People who want to know what it means to live with passion and purpose can’t do so by holding on to toxic relationships. Learning how to free ourselves of people who add little value to our lives is hard to do, but if we want to live, it must be done. Every now and then we will need to do an inventory of the people we have around us, and those who are not serving a purpose will need to go,” he advised.
For Blake, cutting loose from toxic relationships is not a selfish thing – but it is the only sensible thing to do for survival.
“If it’s toxic, let it go, or it will eventually drain or even kill you. There is nothing more burdensome to human development than a relationship going nowhere. It literally kills the spirit, robs you of creativity, and leads you into victimhood, instead of personhood.”
To bear out his point, Blake said that one can observe that the number of persons who are in unhealthy relationships and are enjoying an abundant life can be counted on one hand.
Pointing out that toxic relationships cannot survive, he urged couples not to waste time and effort investing in them.
“Don’t allow fear of the unknown to prevent you from letting go of relationships that are not causing you to experience the peace of God. Relationships that don’t drive you to test the boundaries of you limitations are hardly worth the time. If it is toxic, let it go because eventually, if you are not careful, it will claim your entire being,” Blake warned.