Articles of my life experiences that may inspire, motivate and encourage others.
Friday, January 20, 2017
The Common Denominator
When I look back on all my poor relationships, whether platonic or intimate, there was a common theme. I figured I could change those people's behaviors towards me if I loved harder and stronger. I gave, and they took. Before I knew it, I was depleted, depressed, and doubted my existence. Because I didn't realize my self-worth (due to suppressed low self-esteem), it showed in the pattern of toxic relationships I allowed myself to be involved in. They served no positive purpose and I kept getting the short end of the stick every time. I was imploding from the inside out and my low self-esteem was the pathway to self-destructive behaviors. Worst yet, no one knew what I was personally going through because the mask with the bright smile I wore in public, hid the hurt, pain, shame, and guilt.
It wasn't until I got to my "sick and tired of being sick and tired" point, that I realized it wasn't my job to change those people who mistreated me. However, it was my responsibility to look within and change myself. Through self-reflection and looking deeper, I had to ask myself "How could I get the same negative results from different people?" As hard as it was to accept, I was the common denominator. I was the main factor in each experience. Although it doesn't make it right for anyone to mistreat another person, it was in my control to determine how long, if at all, was I willing to put up with their horrible conduct. This decision can only come from having love and joy by starting from within. I had to stand on God's word and believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139: 14 KJV).
It is my desire to share my story because I know I am not the only one who experienced these toxic relationships and was delusional enough to believe that I could be all the other person ever needed; that by completely giving of myself, they would love me the way I desired them to. This was an unrealistic expectation because at the time I didn't know how to love myself.
There is hope for each and every person who struggles to find love and acceptance in a pattern of abusive relationships. We must nurture the little girl or boy inside and give them the unconditional love they rarely received. It is important to understand that the devil wants us to stay broken and pass the burned out torch to our children. If the devil can keep us down, dysfunctional, and depressed, then that is one less person who is walking in their true purpose and living passionately like there is no tomorrow. I pray that you will take the steps to release the toxic shackles that hold you back and down from living the way God desires for you. Take the steps to heal from any hurt and pain. Take the steps to forgive yourself and eventually those who hurt you. Once this takes place, you will be the common denominator for positive relationships in your life filled with a light that no one can extinguish.